Putin warns of new gas crisis with Ukraine

10:05, October 31, 2009      

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Ukraine could again have difficulty paying for Russian natural gas, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday, triggering speculation of a new gas crisis might between the two former Soviet neighbors.

"It seems we are again seeing problems with the payment of our energy supplies (from Ukraine)," Putin said after a telephone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko.

He said Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko was blocking cooperation between the central bank and the Ukrainian government and blocking the transfer of funds to pay for Russian gas, Putin was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

He said the European Union had failed to give Ukraine the promised money. "Ukraine has not received a single cent, not one hryvnia," he told the leaders of the ruling United Russia party.

Russia supplies a quarter of the EU's gas needs, with 80 percent of it pumped through Ukrainian pipelines. Russia cut off gas shipments to Ukraine for nearly two weeks in January over disputes on pricing and transition fees.

Source: Xinhua
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