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Ukraine Pays Russia For Gas Supplies Through Mid-March

A worker checks the gas-distribution system "Donetsk 1" in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, on March 3.

Russian gas giant Gazprom said on March 6 it had received a pre-payment for gas from Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz ensuring supplies to Ukraine through mid-March.

Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Ukraine had made another $15-million advance payment, enough to receive an additional 45.6 million cubic meters of gas.

The announcement came as Ukraine was facing an impending suspension of gas supplies that could have started as early as March 6.

Under the terms of an agreement the European Union (EU) helped mediate between Russia and Ukraine in October, Russia agreed to reduce the price it charges Ukraine for gas but Kyiv must pay in advance for gas it receives from Gazprom.

Ukraine faced a cut-off at the end of February but made a $15-million prepayment that at the time Kupriyanov said would give Ukraine an additional 24 hours of gas.

The EU has been concerned about its own supplies as 40 percent of the Russian gas the EU purchases is carried by pipelines transiting Ukrainian territory.

Based on reporting by Interfax and Reuters