President Vladimir Putin has threatened Ukraine that Russia will cutoff natural gas supplies if the country fails to pay for future deliveries in advance. Putin said Ukraine’s current allowance will only be good until the end of the week, warning that Russia will cease all transfer of natural gas if the payment lapses. Though he did not announce a date when the cutoffs will begin, Europe is alarmed that the cutoff will hurt their supplies.
According to state officials, Russian and Ukrainian energy administrators could meet in Brussels, Belgium to deliberate on the issue. Following an argument over fiscal crises that have led to increased fears of disruptions of gas supplies in Europe, Putin brokered a deal between Russian and Ukraine requiring they pay in advance.
Last week, Putin accused Ukraine of cutting off natural gas provisions to regions of eastern Ukraine where Russian-backed separatists control the area. Putin stated Ukraine’s decision to cease the flow of energy to the home of 4.5 million people “smacks of genocide.”
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by Global Panorama – Flickr License