In an official statement issued early on the evening of 31 December, Yushchenko said both sides "are listening to each other, which shows they are ready to sit down at the negotiating table."
But Yushchenko made no specific reference to a last-minute offer made earlier in the day by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In televised remarks, Putin ordered Russia's state- controlled natural gas monopoly Gazprom to supply Ukraine with natural gas at current rates for three more months -- if Kyiv immediately agrees to pay market prices starting in April.
Ukraine currently pays $50 per 1,000 cubic meters of Russian gas but Moscow says the market rate that Ukraine should pay is four times higher, at around $230.
Ukraine has until the end of 31 December to respond to the offer. Otherwise, Gazprom says it will stand by its threat to shut off supplies to Ukraine at 10:00 a.m. on 1 January 2006.
(Reuters/AFP/Yushchenko presidential web site)
RFE/RL's World: 2005 In Pictures
A slideshow of images related to the top news stories of 2005 from throughout RFE/RL's broadcast region with links to RFE/RL's reporting.
2005 In Review: Central Asia Witnesses Revolution, Continued Crackdown
2005 In Review: Does The Presence Of Western Election Observers Make A Difference?
2005 In Review: The Geopolitical Game In Central Asia
2005 In Review: Migrants, Refugees Victims Of Incoherent Laws In Post-Soviet States
2005 In Review: The Transformation Of Television In Russia
2005 In Review: Russia's Centralization Gathers Pace
2005 In Review: A Year Of Hopes, Disappointments For Afghans And Iraqis