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Russia warns of Ukraine gas supply cuts

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Russia could cut natural gas supplies to Ukraine if it fails to pay its gas bills on time and warned there could be a reduction in onward deliveries to Europe.

Calling for urgent consultations with Europe on stabilising Ukraine's economy in a letter to European leaders, seen by Reuters, Putin also said 11.5 billion cubic metres of gas, worth $5.5 billion, needed to be pumped into Ukrainian gas storages to guarantee uninterrupted transit.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Credit: Reuters

State-controlled gas producer Gazprom stopped pumping gas to Ukraine during price disputes in the winters of 2005-2006 and 2008-2009, leading to reduced supplies in European countries that receive Russian gas via pipelines that cross Ukraine. - Reuters

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