Ukraine has paid on time and in full for its January imports of Russian natural gas, the Ukrainian state oil and gas company Naftogaz said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Ukraine`s late payments in previous years have caused rows with Moscow and in January 2009 Russia cut off gas supplies for almost three weeks, affecting millions in the European Union.

"We have paid in full for 2.55 billion cubic metres," Naftogaz spokesman Valentyn Zemlyansky told Reuters.

Earlier this week, Fuel and Energy Minister Yuri Prodan put the January bill at $780 million.

According to a 10-year contract between Naftogaz and Russian state energy giant, Gazprom (GAZP.MM), the former Soviet republic must pay for its gas imports not later than the 7th of the month following gas deliveries.

At the end of 2009, Naftogaz and Gazprom agreed that Kiev would import 33.75 bcm of gas in 2010 compared with 33.51 in 2009.