Russia’s Gazprom Halts Ukrainian Gas

    Employees walk in gas metering station "Uzhgorod"  near the Chaslivci village, not far from western Ukrainian city of Uzhgorod, Transcarpathian region on May 21, 2014. The European Union called Wednesday on Russia to live up to its commitment to ensure continued gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine as long as talks on their future continued. With Russian gas giant Gazprom warning it may halt shipments to Ukraine on June 3 unless its bills are paid, European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso told Russian President Vladimir Putin it was "imperative" that negotiations continued. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER ZOBIN        (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER ZOBIN/AFP/Getty Images)

    Alexander Zobin/AFP/Getty

    Gazprom, the behemoth Russian energy corporation, has said “nyet” to Ukraine. It announced Monday that it will no longer supply the country with natural gas because it failed to meet a 10 a.m. deadline—imposed by Moscow—to make a $2 billion payment. Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said, rather curtly, that the company would no longer allow Ukraine to receive gas on credit. “Gazprom supplies to Ukraine only the amount that has been paid for, and the amount that has been paid for is zero.” Russia owns 50.01 percent of Gazprom, but the company maintains, of course, that the decision to cut off the Ukraine is a matter of finance, not politics. Pretty much everyone else in the international community, including Ukraine, believes otherwise. Gazprom’s move could have far-reaching effects throughout Europe, as one-fifth of the European Union’s natural-gas supply moves through Ukraine. Gazprom had already increased the price of natural gas after Ukrainians overthrew their pro-Russian government in February. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk said “This is not about gas. This is a general plan for the destruction of Ukraine.”

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