Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Russia tells Ukraine to pay gas debt or supplies may halt
Russia's state energy giant Gazprom has said it may halt natural gas shipments to Ukraine on 3 June unless the country pays in advance for supplies.
Gazprom boss Alexei Miller said the move was because of outstanding debts.
If there is no payment by the deadline then "Ukraine will receive zero cubic metres [of gas] in June," Russian news agency Interfax reported.
And Prime Minster Dmitry Medvedev said on Russian TV saying they could no longer "nanny" Ukraine.
Mr Miller said Ukraine must pay in advance for its June deliveries because of debts amounting to $3.51bn (2.55bn euros; £2.1bn).
His comments were made during a meeting with Mr Medvedev.
The Russian president said that Kiev could dip into its IMF aid package and questioned Ukraine's refusal to do so until now.
"According to our information, Ukraine has received money from the first IMF tranche," he said.
Ukraine has refused to cover its obligations in protest over Moscow's decision to nearly double the price it charges Kiev for gas imports.
Ukraine's Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak had earlier said on Monday that the county was willing to cover its outstanding payment as soon as Russia lowered its price.
Credit to BBC