Ukraine was getting 104 mcm of gas per day, or 75 per cent of the usual volumes.

   

"The Ukrainian side has not resumed talks. Naftogaz did not fly in... The issue of debts for gas supplied to Ukraine has not been resolved," Kupriyanov said.

 

Debt dispute

   

Gazprom reduced supplies to Ukraine on Monday after saying it had failed to reach a compromise with Naftogaz, Ukraine's national gas company, over a $600 million debt for previous supplies and a deal for deliveries in 2008.

 

Gazprom has threatened to cut gas supplies during previous pricing disputes with former Soviet neighbours Ukraine and Belarus, but this is only the second time it has acted on the threat after a landmark cut in the New Year of 2006.

   

That brief disruption reduced supplies to Gazprom's west European customers, making them wary of any hint of a new row.

 

The new reduction comes as Europe's heating season is nearing its end, unlike in 2006 when it came in the middle of winter.