Russia warns Europe of gas supply cuts over Ukraine debt




 
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Russia warns Europe of gas supply cuts over Ukraine debt
 
April 10th, 2014  
News Manager
 

Topic: Russia warns Europe of gas supply cuts over Ukraine debt


Russia warns Europe of gas supply cuts over Ukraine debt
By Alexei Anishchuk MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin warned European leaders on Thursday Russia would cut natural gas supplies to Ukraine if it did not pay its bills and said this could lead to a reduction of onward deliveries to Europe. In a letter to the leaders of 18 countries, he demanded urgent talks with Europe on pulling Ukraine's economy out of crisis but made clear his patience was running out over Kiev's $2.2 billion gas debt to its former Soviet master. His comments were Russia's most explicit threat to cut off gas to its neighbor, a move that could worsen a dispute over Moscow's annexation of Crimea that has resulted in the worst East-West crisis since the end of the Cold war in 1991. "...Gazprom is compelled to switch over to advance payment for gas deliveries and in the event of further violation of the conditions of payment will completely or partially cease gas deliveries," Putin said in the letter, sent to European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country is the largest consumer of Russian gas in the 28-nation EU.

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