Ukraine crisis: Russia halts gas supplies to Kiev

Ukraine says Russia has cut off all gas supplies to Kiev, in a major escalation of a dispute between the two nations.

“Gas supplies to Ukraine have been reduced to zero,” Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said.

Russia’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom said Ukraine had to pay upfront for its gas supplies, after Kiev failed to settle its huge debt.

Gazprom had sought from Kiev $1.95bn (£1.15bn) – out of $4.5bn it says it is owed – by 06:00 GMT.

The Russian firm said it would continue to supply gas to Europe.

Russia-Ukraine ties remain tense since Moscow annexed Crimea in February.

Kiev says Moscow backs separatists in the east of the country. Russia denies the charge.

BBC has the full article

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