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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/10/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Russian President Putin warns that Ukraine's unpaid debts could trigger shutoff.

Russia's "theft" of Crimea has brought international condemnation, fears of a new cold war and made Ukraine highly nervous of a military takeover. In the meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned European leaders that Ukraine's failure to pay for Russian gas has created a "critical situation."

Gazprom says that it could demand advance payments from Kiev for gas this week. President Putin says Gazprom should hold off, pending talks with 'our partners,' believed to be the European Union.

Gazprom says that it could demand advance payments from Kiev for gas this week. President Putin says Gazprom should hold off, pending talks with "our partners," believed to be the European Union.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/10/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Gazprom, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, shutoff, debt


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Gazprom, Russia's state gas company says that Ukraine's debt for supplies of Russian gas has risen above $2 billion in U.S. dollars.

Gazprom says that it could demand advance payments from Kiev for gas this week. President Putin says Gazprom should hold off, pending talks with "our partners," believed to be the European Union.

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According to Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, President Putin warned in a letter to European leaders said that the "critical" situation could affect deliveries of gas to Europe. Pipelines through Ukraine deliver Russian gas to several E.U. countries. There are concerns that the current tensions could trigger gas shortages.

The letter released by the Kremlin says that if Ukraine does not settle its energy bill, Gazprom will be "compelled" to switch over to advance payment, and if those payments are not made, it "will completely or partially cease gas deliveries."

Putin says that Russia was "prepared to participate in the effort to stabilize and restore Ukraine's economy" but only on "equal terms" with the E.U.

And he says that while Russia has been subsidizing the Ukrainian economy with cheap gas, Europe has been exploiting its raw materials and worsening its trade deficit.

In response, the U.S. state department said it condemned "Russia's efforts to use energy as a tool of coercion against Ukraine."

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the price Ukraine was being charged for its gas was "well above the average price paid by E.U. members."

In the meantime, a European human rights body has stripped Russia of voting rights.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in protest against Russia's annexation of Crimea last month has suspended Russia's voting rights as well as Russian participation in election observer missions.

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