Ukraine was ready to ensure uninterrupted supplies of Russian gas to Europe despite the ongoing political tensions, Energy and Coal Minister Yuriy Prodan said on Monday. "The situation in Crimea will not affect the gas transit," he told a media briefing. The minister said his country was planning to partially pay off the debt for gas supplies to Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom in the near future. Kiev owes Moscow 1.5 billion U.S. dollars for gas deliveries, of which 400 million dollars for February supplies, he said. In 2013, Ukraine delivered 86.1 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to consumers in Europe, up 3.2 percent year on year. The political dispute between Kiev and Moscow over the escalating crisis in the Russian-speaking Autonomous Republic of Crimea in southern Ukraine triggered the fears that Ukraine may halt Russian gas supplies to Europe.