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Russia threatens to cut off Ukraine's gas after talks fail

Published on Jun 16, 2014 8:00 AM

KIEV (AFP) - Russia threatened to cut off Ukraine's gas on Monday after the two sides failed to strike a deal that would have saved Europe from supply disruptions, stoking the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.

Ukraine hosted the last-gasp talks hoping to avoid an energy crisis compounding the new pro-Western leaders' problems as they confront a two-month separatist insurgency threatening the very survival of their ex-Soviet state.

But a top official from Russia's state gas firm Gazprom told AFP that the EU-brokered talks that stretched through the night had failed to bridge the two sides' acrimonious disagreement over price and how much debt Kiev exactly owed Moscow.

"We reached no agreement and the chances that we will meet again are slim - we are already on the plane heading back (to Moscow)," official Gazprom the Russian gas company's official spokesman Sergei Kuprianov said by telephone.

A picture taken on May 21, 2014, shows outdoor reservoirs and pipelines at the Bilche-Volytsko-Uherske underground gas storage facility, the largest in Europe, not far from the village of Bilche village, in the Lviv region of western Ukraine. -- PHOTO: AFP
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