Ukrainian Prime Minister Instructs Naftogaz to Start Paying for Russian Gas

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has ordered Ukraine's finance bodies and Naftogaz to begin payments for Russian gas deliveries.

KIEV, October 31 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has instructed the country's finance ministry, the national bank and Naftogaz to start paying for Russian gas deliveries.

"Yatsenyuk has instructed the Finance Ministry, the National Bank and Naftogaz to start paying for Russian gas," the UNIAN news agency reported Friday.

On Thursday, Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission signed a three-party protocol, outlining conditions for Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine until March.

Moscow expects Kiev to pay off $3.1 billion out of the $5.3 billion in unpaid gas bills and pay up front for 4 billion cubic meters of gas by the end of the year.

Alexei Miller, the head of the Russian energy giant Gazprom, pledged that Russia is ready to turn on the gas tap within 48 hours after Kiev pays off part of its debt next week.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said earlier in the day that Ukraine confirmed its ability to pay for the first two deliveries of 2 billion cubic meters in November and December. Novak stated that Ukraine has not presented any evidence to prove the statement, however said that Russia trusts its partners' words.

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