Gazprom has again threatened to cut off Ukraine’s gas supplies after setting a new deadline for the crisis-ridden east European state to pay the $3.5bn (£2.8bn) the energy giant says it is owed.
The warning to pay by June 2 follows pressure from the Russian government on Gazprom to test the West’s commitment to protect the vital gas route for supplies into Europe.
Dimitry Medvedev, Russia’s prime minister, wanted Gazprom to go further and set a deadline of Tuesday but Alexey Miller, Gazprom’s chief executive, decided to give Ukraine more time.
He said: “In case Ukraine does not pay, Gazprom will notify the Ukrainian side before 10am on June 3 and the volume of gas will be supplied to Ukraine in accordance with the advanced payments.”
Mr Medvedev said it was “time to stop nursing” Ukraine, adding it had the money available after an International Monetary Fund bail-out and said there were “alarming” signals from Ukraine politicians that they would not guarantee delivering gas to Europe.
Full article: Russia gives Ukraine gas payment deadline (The Telegraph)