(QHA) -

Ukraine has paid $786 mln of its gas debt of the $3.5bn Russia says it is owed, European Union Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger announced.

A new round of negotiations on settling Ukraine's gas debt to Russia is expected to take place on June 2 in Brussels.

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote an open letter demanding Ukraine pay for its gas in advance, starting from 1 June. Gazprom had previously said it may stop gas shipments to Ukraine unless the country paid in advance.

Gazprom now charges Ukraine $485.50 per 1,000 cubic metres, against the old price of $268. At the new price, Ukraine is paying more for Russian gas than any other European country.