Gazprom Threatens to Cut Ukraine's Gas Supplies
Russian energy giant Gazprom has warned that it will stop supplies to Ukraine if it does not pay its debt.
Alexei Miller, its Executive Director, explained Ukraine currently owes USD 1.89 B and assure his company "cannot supply gas for free", he was reported by Businessweek as saying.
“Either Ukraine pays off its debt and pays for current deliveries or there’s a risk of a return to the situation we saw in 2009,” Miller warned in a statement.
The deadline for Ukraine to deliver on its debt is Friday, March 7, according to Russian website Lenta.ru.
Earlier this week, the company threatened to scrap special pricing regime for Ukraine, but its warnings fell short of stopping the flow of gas.
Five years ago, Gazprom halted supplies to the country amid a pricing dispute, leading to a energy crisis throughout Europe.
On March 1, Russia offered Kiev a USD 2 B loan so that the country could cope with its liabilities.
Ukraine's leadership, however, has already started talks with the International Monetary Fund over the conditions of a prospective bailout.
A deal with the IMF will pave the way for a package of loans and grants proposed on Thursday by the European Union after an emergency meeting in Brussels.