Ukraine says hopes to settle Russian gas bill row soon
KIEV Oct 30 (Reuters) - Ukrainian Energy Minister Eduard Stavitsky acknowledged on Wednesday that state oil and gas company Naftogaz had fallen behind in payments for Russian gas, but said he expected the matter to be settled very soon.
Speaking to journalists, he said: "We have always paid up in dealings with our partners and we will pay this time as well ... Occasionally there can be, of course, misunderstandings and issues over timing. So there have been slight delays in payments."
Announcing a Naftogaz team was going to Moscow, he said he expected the matter to be settled "today, at the latest tomorrow". Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom said on Tuesday that its former Soviet ally had failed to settle an August bill for natural gas deliveries and demanded that it be paid urgently.