Russia threatens gas cutoff in Ukraine

World Today

No gas deal reached between Ukraine and Russia

Talks resume in Kiev among Russia, Ukraine and the EU on natural gas prices. CCTV’s Jack Barton reports.

Russia threatens gas cutoff in Ukraine

Talks resume in Kiev among Russia, Ukraine and the EU on natural gas prices. CCTV's Jack Barton reports.

If no deal is reached, Russia says it will cut off gas shipments to Ukraine on Monday. After instructing authorities to prepare for the country’s gas supplies to be cut off on Monday, Ukraine’s prime minister and energy minister met for last ditch talks with officials from Russia’s energy giant Gazprom, which set the deadline.

The dispute broke out after Russia raised the price of the gas by more than 80 percent in April. Both sides are now seeking an acceptable compromise.Russia says Ukraine must also pay nearly two billion dollars by Monday to partially cover its debt for past supplies. The European Union is brokering the negotiations. The EU is not so much acting as a neutral broker in the talks, but as a bloc with vested interests, whose own energy supplies are at risk.

About 15 percent of the union’s gas imports from Russia flow through Ukraine. The EU’s energy commissioner has been mediating the talks, and on Friday he met with European energy ministers in Brussels to discuss ways of safeguarding the bloc’s supplies.

Currently Kiev is preparing for supplies to be cut, while the EU is seeking alternative suppliers, which is why as the last ditch gas talks were getting underway the European Commission president was in Azerbaijan holding talks on alternative gas supplies.