Russia will lower gas price if Ukraine pays debt

Russia is willing to compromise on natural gas prices if Ukraine pays its debt for previous supplies, the Russian Energy Ministry said ahead of talks that begin in Brussels Monday.

Despite receiving a $27 billion international package, Ukraine has not used the money to pay its debt, said Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky, Bloomberg reports.

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Russian state-controlled gas exporter OAO Gazprom billed Ukraine for $3.51 billion for fuel delivered in 2013 through April.

Russia upped Ukraine's gas prices after the annexation of Crimea, charging $485 per 1,000 cubic meters, which is more than European Union members pay.

The squeeze on Ukraine's energy supply has concerned a number of lawmakers in the U.S., who are pushing for expedited natural gas exports to Ukraine and Eastern European countries.

Last month, the EU, Russia and Ukraine agreed to enter into talks regarding gas supplies and the escalating tensions.

During the first of the trilateral talks with EU and Russia, Ukraine refused to reveal storage information to Russia. The second round of talks is expected by May 15.