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Russian-Ukrainian gas talks will resume January 8, a spokesman for Ukraine's
Russian-Ukrainian gas talks will resume January 8, a spokesman for Ukraine's energy company Naftogaz said Tuesday.

The Russian energy monopoly said it was ready to resume talks at any moment.

"We are surprised by the declared intention to only continue talks on January 8. We are ready to resume talks at any moment," Sergei Kupriyanov said.

The gas negotiations were halted on December 31, 2008 following direct orders from Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said.

Gazprom cut off gas supplies to Ukraine on Thursday after last-ditch talks with Kiev on a new deal for 2009 and debt repayments failed late on New Year's Eve.

Around 80% of Russia's gas exports to Europe pass through Ukraine.

Miller has accused Naftogaz of tapping Russian gas, which Ukraine denied, blaming Russia for creating the shortfall by deliberately cutting deliveries to Europe.

"The claims that Ukraine has blocked all transit routes to Europe and that Europe is stealing gas are groundless," Naftogaz CEO Oleh Dubyna said.


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