Putin Threatens Ukraine to Make it Pay in Advance for Gas

World Today

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukraine must suggest alternative ways to pay its energy bills or it may have to start paying in advance for natural gas from Russia. In March, Ukraine was already behind on an estimated $2.2 billion debt to the major Russian energy provider, Gazprom.

Meeting with government ministers in his suburban residence outside Moscow, Putin said asking for advance gas payments “corresponded with the contract” between Ukraine and Russia. Still, he suggested that the state energy giant Gazprom to refrain from such drastic measures until “additional consultations” between both sides. Russia has already eliminated a gas discount it had given Ukraine, arguing that it was tied to a lease for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet base in Crimea, a Ukrainian region that Russia annexed last month. And Ukraine has promised the International Monetary Fund that it will cut energy subsidies to residents in exchange for a bailout loan of up to $14 billion — so gas prices were set to rise 50 percent on May 1 even before the latest salvo from Putin. CCTV’s Tom Barton reports.

Putin Threatens Ukraine to Make it Pay in Advance for Gas

Putin Threatens Ukraine to Make it Pay in Advance for Gas

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukraine must suggest alternative ways to pay its energy bills or it may have to start paying in advance for natural gas from Russia. In March, Ukraine was already behind on an estimated 2-point-2 billion dollar debt to the major Russian energy provider, Gazprom. CCTV's Tom Barton Reports.