In a chilly New Year greeting to its next door neighbor, Russia’s Gazprom will cut off all supplies of heating gas to Ukraine at 7am New Year’s Day. Talks in Moscow on a new contract between the Russian state owned gas giant and its pro-Western neighbor collapsed this afternoon, leaving the prospect of a freezing January for Ukrainians who are dependent on their former Soviet masters for energy. Gazprom blamed the breakdown on “political forces” in Ukraine. And Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister, threatened “very real consequences” if Ukraine intercepted gas piped through its territory from Russia to customers in the European Union.
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