Ukraine says it will pay off gas debt

KIEV, Ukraine Tuesday's announcement appears to mark an end to a bitter confrontation between Russia and Ukraine that threatened to disrupt supplies to Europe.

Naftogaz spokesman Valentyn Zemlyansky says the company will take loans from Ukraine's two biggest state-run banks to pay off the debt. Zemlyansky says the money will be transferred Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday, Russia's natural gas company Gazprom said it would stop energy shipments to Ukraine and sharply raise the price for future deliveries if it didn't pay the debt by New Year's Eve.

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