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Russian energy giant Gazprom has paid a total of $665 million
Russian energy giant Gazprom has paid a total of $665 million for gas transited via Ukraine from December 2007 through March 2008, Ukraine's state gas company Naftogaz said on Friday.

"Gazprom has paid Naftogaz $665 million for gas transit through Ukraine," a Naftogaz spokesman said.

Ukraine, which transits about 80% of Russian Europe-bound gas, raised the charge for gas transit through its territory for Russia this year from $1.6 to $1.7 per 1,000 cu m per 100 kilometers.

In the first quarter of 2008, Ukraine's natural gas import monopoly UkrTransGaz increased gas transit fees for European consumers by 29.48% per year, to 34.7 billion cu m.

Tempers flared in the gas row between Ukraine and Gazprom in early March when Kiev accused Gazprom of not paying gas transit fees, while Gazprom blamed Ukraine for failing to send invoices.

Moscow and Kiev partially resolved their dispute in mid-March, agreeing on the size of the debt and a supply scheme.

The dispute earlier this year led to a brief reduction in shipments to Ukraine, sparking concerns among European consumers over possible supply shortfalls similar to those reported at the start of 2006.


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