Ukrainian energy minister Yury Prodan said on Wednesday Ukrainian national energy company Naftogaz would pay $892 million for Russian gas consumed in December on schedule, RIA Novosti reported citing Ukrainian Unian news agency.

"There are no doubts that we will pay [for Russian gas] by January 11," the minister said, adding "the sum is $892 million."

The deadline for Ukraine's payment for natural gas supplied in December has been moved from January 7 to January 11, 2010, due to the New Year holidays.

However, President Viktor Yushchenko has said Naftogaz is short of money to pay for Russian gas in time. The presidential press service said on Wednesday Yushchenko had addressed Vladimir Stelmakh, head of Ukraine's National Bank, with a request to resolve the problem.

On December 31, the IMF permitted the Ukrainian government to spend $2 billion from the National Bank's gold and foreign exchange reserves to pay for Russian gas deliveries.

Earlier, Viktor Yushchenko said his country would pay for Russian gas delivered in December on schedule.

Ukraine, which transits 80% of Russian gas to Europe, has received a total of 27 bcm in 2009, compared to an average of 55 bcm in the pre-crisis years.

Ukraine has earlier asked Gazprom to cut natural gas supplies to 7 billion cubic meters in the first quarter of 2010, from 8.75 bcm under the existing contract.

Kiev, which had paid 20% less than Russian gas consumers in Europe before the start of 2010, would pay the average European price starting from January 1.


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