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Gazprom 'Ready' To Divide Ukraine Gas Bills; EU Plans Talks

Russian gas giant Gazprom says it is willing to discuss alterations to the current gas agreement with Kyiv but also warns time is running out for Ukraine to order further shipments.

Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov suggested February 26 the company was "ready" to exclude gas supplies to the separatist-held areas of eastern Ukraine from Kyiv's gas bill.

The EU announced late on February 26 that it is arranging a meeting of the Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers in Brussels for March 2.

Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz said this week Gazprom had not supplied all the gas Ukraine already paid for, only to learn Gazprom considered gas sent to areas held by rebels as being part of the gas shipped to Ukraine.

Naftogaz rejected making another advance payment for more gas until Ukraine received all the gas from its last payment.

The threatened suspension of gas supplies to Ukraine could affect the EU since about half of Russian gas supplies to the EU transit Ukrainian territory.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax