Ukraine paying Russia $786 million as 1st step to defuse gas spat, more talks set for Monday

By GEIR MOULSON, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — Ukraine said Friday that it ordered a $786 million payment to Russia in a first step toward paying off its gas debts, and another round of talks aimed at resolving the two countries’ dispute over gas prices and preventing a possible supply cutoff was set for Monday.

Russia has stepped up pressure on Ukraine over gas lately, calling for Kiev to pay its debts and saying it wants payment up front for deliveries starting in June. It has threatened to restrict supplies starting Tuesday if no payment is made…more

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