(QHA) - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he saw no reason for Moscow to cut gas supplies to Ukraine over an unpaid bill for now, playing down talk of an imminent "gas war" that might disrupt gas flows to Europe, Reuters reports.
As reported earlier, Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom said on Tuesday that Ukraine, which is dependent on supplies of Russian gas, had failed to settle a $882 million bill for August deliveries and demanded it be paid urgently.
Medvedev said they had yet to pay.
"We understand that they have economic difficulties, but they still have to pay, especially after we gave them loans and financed transit," Medvedev said in the interview on Thursday, adding the transit fees cost billions of dollars.
In an interview with Reuters, he denied Russia's demands for payment had anything to do with opposition to Ukraine signing agreements with the European Union this month which would mark a historic shift away from former imperial master Moscow.