Ukraine in urgent talks with Russia

President Yushchenko in Moscow to resolve gas dispute over $1.5bn debt.

    Gazprom says Ukraine currently gets about one quarter of its gas imports from Russia [AFP]

    The cut off time had been pushed back eight hours to 6pm (15:00 GMT) to allow Yushchenko time to meet Putin.

     

    Russia, which has a record of gas rows with Kiev, is not keen to alienate a neighbour torn between integrating with Europe and keeping traditionally close ties with Russia.

     

    "Ukraine is a great neighbouring state with which we should build friendly, open and sincere ties rather than neutral relations like with Poland for instance," local news agencies quoted Sergei Prikhodko, Putin's foreign policy adviser, as saying.


    Gazprom pledge

    Gazprom has said that it would only cut Russian-origin gas and that its contracts with customers further downstream would be fulfiled.

    A repeat of supply disruptions to Europe would renew Western concern about Russia's reliability as an energy partner, even as it undertakes massive new projects to sell gas to Europe.

    European supplies were affected in 2006 during a price dispute between Kiev and Moscow which was seen as rooted in Russia's unhappiness that Yushchenko, seen as pro-Western, had come to power a year earlier.

    Moscow has recently been angered by Ukraine's renewed drive to seek membership of Nato and the EU in a step to move away from Russia's sphere of influence.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.