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Ukraine set to pay most of Gazprom bill

Jan. 2, 2009 at 10:35 AM

MOSCOW, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Russia's energy giant Gazprom said it would receive the bulk of Ukraine's natural gas bill payment by Jan. 11, but critical issues remain outstanding.

Gazprom cut off Ukraine's supplies New Year's Day. Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Ukraine's payment of $1.5 billion would arrive Jan. 11 "considering the holidays," RIA Novosti reported. But Ukraine still owed $614 million in late fees and its negotiating team for the 2009 contract "has not expressed its readiness to fly to Moscow," Kupriyanov said.

Gazprom on Thursday increased its 2009 price for Ukraine to $418 per 1,000 cubic metesr, up from an early offer of $250 per 1,000 cubic meters, the news agency said.

Ukraine paid $179.50 per 1,000 cubic meters a year ago and recently said it was willing to go as high as $235 per 1,000 cubic meters.

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