KIEV, Ukraine, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz said Moscow was giving it an extension on paying the remainder of its monthly $972 million debt for natural gas.
Naftogaz incurred a $972 million gas bill for November. It paid for $440 million and needs to come up with another $562 million by Dec. 28, the company told Bloomberg News.
Naftogaz, under the terms of a 10-year gas deal brokered in 2009, needs to pay its entire monthly natural gas bill by the first week of the following month or face stiff penalties.
Ukrainian officials are trying to renegotiate parts of the deal, saying it's having a negative impact on an economy already bruised by recession. The country pays $400 per 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas under the terms of that deal. Russian energy company Gazprom said revisions could come by the end of the month.
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year prison sentence on charges she abused her authority when helping to negotiate the current gas deal. That deal helped break a contract impasse but the current government complains about the cost.
Gazprom this week said it would let Ukraine pay for natural gas using the Russian ruble rather than the depressed Ukrainian hryvnia.