Ukraine should carry out prompt payments for gas supplies to ensure their security, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.
Moscow and Kiev have signed an agreement to guarantee gas transits through Ukrainian territory, Ukrainian Minister of Fuel and Energy Yuriy Boyko said earlier on Tuesday.
"I have recently met with [Ukrainian] President [Viktor] Yanukovych and want to say that our relations with Ukraine significantly differ from what we had some time ago," Medvedev said, RIA Novosti reported.
"But we can not talk about any guarantees," he continued. "The best guarantee is money. The money paid for the supplied gas. If there is money, there will be gas. This is an absolutely normal approach."
On January 1, 2009, Russia's gas giant Gazprom axed gas transits to the EU through Ukraine in a row over prices. Transits resumed on January 19.
In October, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said Russia has agreed to create a working group with Ukraine to revise contracts on gas supplies.
Ukraine's national energy company Naftogaz was given a 30-percent discount for Russian gas in April when the Ukrainian government agreed to extend Russia's lease on a naval base in Crimea until at least 2042.
Ukraine paid $305 for 1,000 cubic meters of Russian gas in the first quarter of 2010, $236 in the second quarter and $248 in the third quarter.
The Ukrainian Energy Ministry predicted in early October that the price for Russian gas supplied to Ukraine would stand at $245-270 for 1,000 cubic meters in the first quarter of 2011.
Gazrpom Deputy Chairman Valery Golubev has said the gas price in the first quarter of 2011 would remain at the level of this year's fourth quarter, which he put at $250.
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