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Putin says Russia 'still open' to Ukraine gas solution

Published on May 16, 2014 6:28 AM
Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks as he chairs a meeting with high ranking military and security officials at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi on May 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (AFP) - President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia is "still open" to talks on Ukraine's gas debt, accusing the EU of failing to make specific proposals to help prevent a cutoff of supplies from next month.

In an open letter to European leaders, Mr Putin also called on Brussels to "more actively engage" in finding ways to stabilise crisis-hit Ukraine's economy.

"Unfortunately, we have to say that we have not received any specific proposals from our partners as to how to stabilise the situation," Mr Putin said in the letter released by the Kremlin.

He said Russia was "forced" to threaten to cut off gas supplies from June 3 after switching to up-front payments because Ukraine has amassed a gas debt of US$3.5 billion (S$4.37 billion).

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