Ukraine has paid its bill for supplies of Russian gas in April, state energy company Naftogaz said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

"The bill has been paid in full," Naftogaz spokesman Valentyn Zemlyansky said by telephone.

Ukraine`s deputy finance minister, Ihor Umansky, was earlier quoted as saying Naftogaz had paid $545 million of the April bill, with the outstanding $80 million to be settled by the end of the day.

At talks last week in Moscow between the two countries` prime ministers, Ukraine welcomed Russia as a partner in a project backed by the European Union to upgrade its gas pipeline network. Russia, in turn, agreed not to impose a $2 billion fine against Kiev for using less gas than contracted.

Naftogaz last week said it imported about 1 billion cubic metres in April. That was a third of volumes agreed when the two sides clinched a supply deal in January that ended a cutoff of more than two weeks that hit gas supplies to European customers.

Payment is to be made no later than the seventh day of the month following consumption.

Energy use has fallen sharply as industry slashes production to the economic crisis in Ukraine.

Naftogaz said the price for gas in the second quarter would be $270.95 per 1,000 cubic metres, compared with the $360 it paid in the first three months of the year.


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