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Gazprom to stop gas deliveries to Ukraine

Nov. 22, 2008 at 5:06 PM

MOSCOW, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Russia's energy giant Gazprom announced Saturday it will not continue to make gas deliveries to Ukraine in the absence of a new contract.

Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said he would like to avoid cutting off gas supplies to Ukraine, RIA Novosti reported.

"There is still time to reach an agreement," he said. "As soon as the debts are paid, we are ready to sign direct contracts."

On Friday, Gazprom announced Ukraine had $2.4 billion in outstanding debt for gas supplies.

Responding, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko ordered payment of the country's debt to Russia for natural gas supplies within five days.