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Ukraine's debt for Russian gas supplies in 2007 paid in full

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Ukraine has paid over $1 billion to Gazprom to clear its debt for Russian gas supplies in 2007, Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchinov said on Wednesday.
KIEV, February 27 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine has paid over $1 billion to Gazprom to clear its debt for Russian gas supplies in 2007, Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchinov said on Wednesday.

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine agreed on a roadmap two weeks ago to settle Kiev's overall $1.5 billion debt for Russian gas supplies in 2007 and 2008.

"Ukraine's debt as of January 1, 2008 has been paid off," Turchinov told a Cabinet meeting.

Ukraine's national oil and gas company Naftogaz has transferred the payment to the import monopoly UkrGazEnergo, its joint venture with Swiss RosUkrEnergo, which holds a monopoly on natural gas exports to Ukraine.

UkrGazEnergo is now to transfer the money to RosUkrEnergo, of which Gazprom controls 50%, with the other half controlled by two private individuals.

Gazprom warned on Tuesday that it would reduce natural gas supplies to Ukraine by 25% on March 3 at 7:00 a.m. GMT, if problems, primarily debts, were not settled.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was expected make an emergency report to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko earlier on Wednesday over Russia's ultimatum, Ukrainian ICTV said.

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