MOSCOW, March 1 (UPI) -- Russia's natural gas monopoly Gazprom could reduce supplies to Ukraine by 25 percent this month, a spokesman said.
RIA Novosti reported Saturday that negotiations between Gazprom and Kiev over natural gas prices have been unsuccessful.
"Negotiations with Ukraine on Thursday and Friday produced no results. The (country's) debt for gas consumed in 2007 has not been paid in full," Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said.
Kupriyanov accused Ukraine of using without permission about 1.9 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas, worth some $600 million.
"To ensure its economic interests, Gazprom will cut supplies to consumers in Ukraine by 25 percent on March 3 at 10:00 a.m. Moscow time," Kupriyanov said.
Ukraine's First Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchinov said Wednesday that Kiev had paid more than $1 billion it owed to Gazprom from last year. In all, Ukraine owed $1.5 billion for natural gas supplies in 2007 and 2008, Novosti reported.