Russian energy giant Gazprom gave the go-ahead at 10:00 a.m. Moscow time (07:00 a.m. GMT) on Tuesday to resume gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine.

Russia halted gas supplies last Wednesday over a gas dispute with Ukraine. Moscow said Gazprom would resume the flow of gas to Europe via Ukraine once it was sure that international monitors were in place to fully supervise the process under a new trilateral deal involving the European Commission signed on Monday.

The order to start pumping 3.126 million cubic meters of gas for consumers in the Balkans, Turkey and Moldova came from Gazprom''s central control station in Moscow.

Russia''s Sudzha gas metering station on the border with Ukraine carried out a system test, a Gazprom official said, adding that the station pumped the first portion of Russian gas across the border at 10:46 a.m. Moscow time (07:46 a.m. GMT).

"The deliveries are underway, and gas has already crossed the border," he said.

Valentin Zemlyanskiy, a spokesman for the Ukrainian national energy company Naftogaz, said Gazprom had submitted an application to pump on Tuesday up to 76 million cubic meters of gas for transit to Europe.

The Naftogaz spokesman said on Monday that Ukraine would continue using Russian gas being transited to European countries for technical purposes.

Naftogaz says it needs about 20 million cu m of gas a day to meet technical demands of transiting gas to Europe. However, Gazprom said Ukraine should either use its own "technical" gas, or buy it if the company lacks its own resources.

Alexander Medvedev, a deputy chairman of Gazprom''s board, told the Moscow-based radio station Ekho Moskvy on Monday that Russia would charge Ukraine $450 per 1,000 cu m of supplied gas in the first quarter of 2009.