Russia rejects Ukraine gas deal, deadline passes

Ukraine faced a possible cutoff of gas supplies from Russia as a payment deadline passed and negotiators failed to reach a deal with Russia on gas prices and unpaid bills.

Russian wanted payment of $1.95 billion for past due bills by 9am Kiev time on Monday. As the deadline passed Gazprom issued a statement that it would start demanding payment in advance for gas. The statement did not address whether supplies to the pipelines into Ukraine were immediately being reduced.

The European Commission said in a statement Monday that Ukraine was ready to accept a compromise in talks in Kiev of paying $1 billion now and more later, but Russia was not.