MOSCOW, June 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's prime minister said Monday that Moscow could not help Ukraine pay for Russian gas deliveries as Kiev signaled it was having difficulties raising funds.
"The next payment is due on July 7. We are continuously receiving signals that there is nothing to pay with. This puts us, as well as consumers in Europe, in a very difficult situation," Vladimir Putin told the government presidium.
"We have really turned to all international financial organizations: the World Bank, the IMF, we have turned to European partners on a bilateral basis. There, in essence, has been a denial everywhere," he said.
"We do not have these resources either. We have to resolve our own tasks," Putin said.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said Friday that energy company Naftogaz is $2 billion short of being able to pump natural gas into its underground storage systems to prepare for winter.
The ex-Soviet state is seeking a syndicated loan of over $4 billion from European banks to pay it debts to Russian energy giant Gazprom until November 2009.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in early June it would be difficult for the EU to help Ukraine keep up with its payments.
Russia, which supplies around one fifth of Europe's gas, briefly shut down supplies via Ukraine's pipeline system at the start of the year over Kiev's unpaid debt.
The conflict was resolved in January, when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Yulia Tymoshenko, agreed on $1.7 as a fee for transiting 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas per 100 km for 2009.
Ukraine transits around 80% of Russia's Europe-bound gas.