KIEV, January 30 - RAPSI. Ukraine is considering its response to Gazprom's $7-billion bill under the country's 2012 take-or-pay contract, Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Eduard Stavystky said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Gazprom is charging Ukraine for failing to use the contracted gas volume last year. Ukrainian lawyers are now studying the issue, the minister said.

"Ukraine has honored its contract," he said. "As for the bill, it is not an issue at all. Ukraine has paid fully for the gas that it has used. Our lawyers are studying the bill, and I am certain that we will reach an understanding with our colleagues."

Last week, Gazprom reportedly presented a $7-billion bill to Naftogaz Ukraine for failing to use the agreed upon gas volume under its take-or-pay contract. Naftogaz, which has repeatedly asked Gazprom to cut its annual supply volume to 27 billion cubic meters, believes that it has fulfilled its contractual obligations.

According to Gazprom, Ukraine's contracted gas volume for 2012 was 52 billion cubic meters, and the country must pay for at least 41.6 billion cubic meters as it failed to use the entire volume based on the agreement.