Russia's Gazprom preparing for talks to avert supply cuts to Ukraine

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russia's top natural gas producer Gazprom is preparing for gas talks with Ukraine, a spokesman for the company told Reuters on Saturday, in an attempt to avert gas supply cuts and possible flow disruption to Europe.

"We are ready to seek compromise, but it is useless to put pressure on us," Gazprom's Sergei Kupriyanov said.

He added that the company is preparing for another round of talks in Kiev.

Previous talks between Russia and Ukraine, brokered by the European Commission, have ended without a firm agreement.

Gazprom has said that Ukraine should pay US$1.95 billion (S$2.43 billion), a part of its debt for Russian gas supplies, by Monday or face a prepayment regime and possible gas supply cuts.