Russia cuts gas supply to Ukraine as tensions soar

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Associated Press

Posted on June 16, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 16 at 12:35 PM

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has put a stop to its natural gas deliveries to Ukraine.

Moscow today rejected Ukraine's offer to pay some of the billions it owes for past gas deliveries. And the Russians are now demanding upfront payments for future supplies.

The move doesn't immediately affect the crucial flow of Russian gas to Europe. And Ukraine says it has enough reserves to last until December.

Still, analysts say the Russian move could disrupt Europe's long-term energy supplies if the issue is not resolved. Previous gas disputes left Ukraine and some Balkan nations shivering for nearly two weeks in the dead of winter.

The gas conflict is part of a wider dispute over whether Ukraine aligns itself with Russia or with the European Union. It comes amid a crisis in relations following Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March.

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198-r-16-(Sound of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (ahr-SEHN'-ee yaht-sehn-YOOK'), speaking Ukrainian, in address to Parliament)--Sound of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk telling Parliament in Ukrainian that the country won't subsidize Russia's Gazprom with billions each year that would "let Russia spend this money on buying weapons, tanks and planes to bomb Ukraine." (16 Jun 2014)

<<CUT *198 (06/16/14)££ 00:16

046-a-18-(Gunther Oettinger (GUN'-tur EH'-tihn-jur), European Commissioner for Energy, with reporters)-"be paid immediately"-European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger says Ukraine is ready to accept a compromise on past due bills to Russia, and pay $1 billion now and more later. ((note length of cut)) (16 Jun 2014)

<<CUT *046 (06/16/14)££ 00:18 "be paid immediately"

APPHOTO MOSB112: FILE - In this Wednesday May 21, 2014 file photo, a Ukrainian worker operates a valve in a gas storage point in Bil 'che-Volicko-Ugerske underground gas storage facilities in Strij, outside Lviv, Ukraine. Russia on Monday, June 16, 2014, cut gas supplies to Ukraine as a payment deadline passed and negotiators failed to reach a deal on gas prices and unpaid bills amid continued fighting in eastern Ukraine. The decision does not immediately affect the gas flow to Europe, but could disrupt the long-term energy supply to the region if the issue is not resolved, analysts said. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov, file) (16 Jun 2014)

<<APPHOTO MOSB112 (06/16/14)££

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