World Bulletin/News Desk
Ukraine has made no payments to Gazprom despite a midnight (2000 GMT) deadline to reduce its $2.2 billion debt for natural gas supplies, the Russian gas producer said on Monday.
The Ukrainian government says Russia has increased the gas price for Kiev for political reasons in a crisis over Moscow's annexation of Crimea that has fuelled East-West tensions.
A Gazprom spokesman declined to say what action, if any, the company would take if Kiev did not meet the deadline - which falls on the seventh day of each month - for settling its monthly bill.
"There have been zero payments from Ukraine," he said.
Ukraine has missed deadlines in the past without punishment but Gazprom has suggested it might ask Kiev to pay in advance for gas if it does not meet the monthly deadline.
Gazprom cut off gas supplies to Ukraine in price disputes in the winters of 2005/2006 and 2008/2009, actions which also disrupted supplies of Russian gas to Europe carried via Ukraine.
Gazprom last week increased the gas price for Ukraine by 80 percent, to $485 per 1,000 cubic metres while it charges European clients $370-$380.
The move increases a squeeze on Ukraine's economy and puts more pressure on the Kiev government following Russia's annexation of the Crimea region from Ukraine during the most serious East-West rift since the end of the Cold War in 1991.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said last week that the increase was unacceptable and warned that he expected Russia to step up pressure by limiting supplies to Ukraine.
Russia meets 30 percent of Europe's total gas demand, while a half of gas from Russia to the European Union goes via Ukraine.
Russian gas supplies to the EU and Turkey hit an all-time high of 162 billion cubic metres last year, while first-quarter exports edged up 2.4 percent as European customers have rushed to buy gas from Gazprom in anticipation of possible cuts.
Analysts have said the crisis could drag on for sometime, probably until next winter.
Experts state that the crisis poses risks to the region, which is significant for oil production and exports in the world.
Federal Reserve removes word 'patient;' interest rate increase expected within months. Yellen says timing of rate rise 'not decided,' but will come anytime after April; holds current rates at 0 to 0.25 pct.
Many emerging-market currencies have fallen against the dollar in recent weeks
Anticipated Federal Reserve interest rate hikes making dollar strong against most emerging market currencies, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan says.
European Statistical Agency says slight decline fuelled by drop in production of durable consumer goods.
EU will use all its foreign policy instruments to establish strategic energy partnerships with producing and transit countries.
Dollar strength and waning investor confidence are driving the lira lower
Greece has already received two bailouts totalling 240 billion euros but fellow euro zone member Ireland said last week that it would have to negotiate a third programme.
The Ukraine crisis has tested the loyalties of Bulgaria, a Balkan country with historical ties to Moscow and heavily dependent on Russian energy supplies.
Syria expels three United Nations aid workers hindering aid development in the country
Russia has overcome a "psychological barrier" and is ready to deepen its economic ties with China, Deputy Prime MinisterArkady Dvorkovich said
With Chancellor Angela Merkel's right-left coalition plus the opposition Greens, it was the biggest majority for any euro zone rescue package so far in the 631-seat chamber.
The agreement commits Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to cooperate with the United States in customs issues, ease red tape at borders, reduce customs wait times and harmonize trade standards.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has unnerved China with his re-examination of certain projects that Chinahas invested in, including a $1.5 billion "port city" project in Colombo.
EU energy chief Maros Sefcovic invited Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Demchyshyn for talks
Gazprom and Ukrainian state energy firm Naftogaz have accused each other of not sticking to agreements on gas supplies.