Putin: Ukraine debt may rise to $2bn

Novo-Ogaryovo, Russia - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Ukraine's gas debt to Russia would total almost $2 billion if Ukraine fails to pay for February deliveries in full.

He said that current debt stands at between $1.5 billion and $1.6 billion.

Members of Vienna's Ukrainian community protest against Russian troops in Ukraine, outside the US embassy in Vienna March 4, 2014. President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia saw no need to use military force in the Crimea region of Ukraine for now, in remarks apparently intended to ease East-West tension over fears of war in the former Soviet republic. Earlier on Tuesday, Putin ordered troops involved in a military exercise in western Russia, close to the border with Ukraine, back to their bases. Credit: Reuters

Earlier on Tuesday, Russia's top gas producer Gazprom said it would remove a discount on gas prices for Ukraine starting from April. - Reuters