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World

Putin: Disruptions of EU Gas Supplies via Ukraine Possible

Moscow has warned that Ukraine could siphon Russian gas intended for European consumers

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he addresses the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St.Petersburg, Russia, photo: AP/Dmitry Lovetsky
12 months ago

MOSCOW — The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin has warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel of a threat to the gas supplies Russia sends to Europe via Ukraine.

Putin told Merkel in a telephone call Tuesday that Ukraine has been reluctant to sign a contract on Russian gas supplies for the coming winter and that it “threatens transit to Europe.” Moscow has warned that Ukraine could siphon Russian gas intended for European consumers.

A pipeline through Ukraine is a major conduit for gas exports to Europe. Past disputes between Russia and Ukraine have led to cutoffs, including a 2009 standoff that caused serious disruptions in winter supplies.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine has brought relations between the two ex-Soviet neighbors to the verge of rupturing.

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