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Ukraine Says Has Paid January Bill For Russian Gas

The Sudzha gas-measuring unit in the Kursk region.
KYIV (Reuters) -- Ukraine has paid on time and in full for its January imports of Russian natural gas, the Ukrainian state oil and gas company Naftogaz said today.

Ukraine's late payments in previous years have caused rows with Moscow and in January 2009 Russia cut off gas supplies for almost three weeks, affecting millions in the European Union.

"We have paid in full for 2.55 billion cubic meters," Naftogaz spokesman Valentyn Zemlyansky told Reuters.

Earlier this week, Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan put the January bill at $780 million.

According to a 10-year contract between Naftogaz and the Russian state energy giant, Gazprom, the former Soviet republic must pay for its gas imports not later than the seventh of the month following gas deliveries.

At the end of 2009, Naftogaz and Gazprom agreed that Kyiv would import 33.75 billion cubic meters of gas in 2010 compared with 33.51 in 2009.