President Putin Threatens to Cut Ukraine Gas Supplies
Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to cut off gas supplies to Ukraine, if the country doesn't pay its debts.
In a letter to 18 world leaders, the Russian head of state warned that Ukraine's USD 2.2 B debt for delivered gas means that supplies could be stopped, something which would affect the European Union as well.
President Putin outlined the huge amounts of money that Russia has given over the years to Ukraine and the preferential prices of gas. He blames the EU for empty talk regarding its intent to revive the Ukrainian economy.
Under conditions in which Ukraine is not paying for its gas, "Gazprom is compelled to switch over to advance payment for gas delivery, and in the event of further violation of the conditions of payment, will completely or partially cease gas deliveries", Putin's statement read, quoted by ITAR-TASS.
The Russian President added that this would be an "extreme measure" that would have negative effects around Europe.
"It goes without saying that Russia is prepared to participate in the effort to stabilize and restore Ukraine's economy. However, not in a unilateral way, but on equal conditions with our European partners. It is also essential to take into account the actual investments, contributions and expenditures that Russia has shouldered by itself alone for such a long time in supporting Ukraine", the letter concluded.