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Gas flows to Ukraine steady but no deal in sight

Russia and Ukraine are locked in a bitter dispute over gas prices. Marathon talks on Monday failed to produce fruit but Gazprom has said it has not turned off the natural gas spigot to Ukraine yet.

Russia's Gazprom said Tuesday it had not halted gas supplies to Ukraine after a deadline passed for Kyiv to repay some of its energy debts.

A spokesman for the company said he had no information about Russia potentially cutting off the flow of gas to Ukraine and noted that Gazprom was also supplying the European Union in its usual capacity.

Marathon talks between the two sides in Brussels went well into the night on Monday in an eleventh-hour effort to end a protracted dispute over gas prices. The negotiations ended before a deal could be reached.

The European Union's energy commissioner, Günther Oettinger, who is

mediating the talks

, said they were set to resume either late Tuesday or on Wednesday.

"The good news is talks are continuing," said the Ukrainian energy minister, Yuri Prodan.

Russia had given Ukraine until 10 a.m. (6 a.m. GMT) on Tuesday to pay off part of its

debt to Gazprom

, but Kyiv has resisted, saying the price is politically motivated and too steep.

Ukraine pays more for its energy than any other European country after Russia began charging it $485.5 per 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas and demanded Kyiv pay $5.17 billion (3.79 billion euros) for outstanding debts and a deposit for June.

cjc/uhe (Reuters, AFP)

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