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Putin warns EU leaders on gas supplies, Ukraine economy

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday sent a letter to leaders of 18 European countries, warning them Russia could cut gas supplies to Ukraine, but suggesting that Moscow and Brussels work together to help restore the ex-Soviet country's battered economy. If Ukraine does not settle its 1.6 billion euro ($2.2 billion) energy bill, natural gas giant Gazprom would be "compelled to switch over to advance payment for gas deliveries, and in the event of further violation of the conditions of payment, will completely or partially cease gas deliveries," Putin wrote in the letter.

Putin warns European leaders: Gas dispute with Ukraine can threaten their own energy supplies

MOSCOW - Dragging much of Europe into his fight with Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged European leaders Thursday to quickly help Ukraine settle its gas debt to Russia to prevent an imminent shutdown of Russian natural gas supplies to the continent. Putin's letter to 18 leaders, released Thursday by the Kremlin, is part of Russia's efforts to retain control over its struggling neighbour, which is teetering on the verge of financial ruin and is facing a pro-Russian separatist mutiny in the east.

Russia warns of gas supply cuts if Ukraine does not pay bills

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Russia could cut natural gas supplies to Ukraine if it fails to pay its gas bills on time and warned there could be a reduction in onward deliveries to Europe. Calling for urgent consultations with Europe on stabilizing Ukraine's economy in a letter to European leaders, seen by Reuters, Putin also said 11.5 billion cubic meters of gas, worth $5.5 billion, needed to be pumped into Ukrainian gas storages to guarantee uninterrupted transit.

Putin warns Russia may cut Ukraine gas, urges EU cooperation

Pressident Vladimir Putin on Thursday sent a letter to leaders of 18 European countries, warning them Russia could yet cut gas supplies to Ukraine, but suggesting that Moscow and Brussels work together to help restore the ex-Soviet country's battered economy. If Ukraine does not settle its $2.2 billion energy bill, natural gas giant Gazprom would be "compelled to switch over to advance payment for gas deliveries, and in the event of further violation of the conditions of payment, will completely or partially cease gas deliveries," Putin wrote in the letter.

Russia claims Chechen militant leader Umarov 'neutralised'

Russia's security service confirmed Tuesday that Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov, whose Caucasus Emirate group claimed responsibility for a string of deadly attacks, had been "neutralised" after insurgents announced his death last month. The director of the FSB security service, Alexander Bortnikov, said that "the activities of the head of the Caucasus Emirate terrorist organisation, Umarov, have been neutralised". Bortnikov was speaking at a meeting of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee, which quoted him on its website without giving any further details.

Russia confirms death of Islamist militant, its most wanted man

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Tuesday it had killed Moscow's most wanted man, Islamist insurgency leader Doku Umarov, in a combat operation. A website sympathetic to the insurgency in the North Caucasus said on March 18 that Umarov was dead but the Russian authorities had not previously confirmed the report.

US urges Putin to stop destabilizing Ukraine

The United States called Monday on Russia's President Vladimir Putin to stop destabilizing Ukraine, saying it was concerned about "several escalatory" moves over the weekend. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the United States was prepared to impose further sanctions, this time targeting the Russian economy, if the situation continues to escalate. The warning came after pro-Kremlin militants occupied the seat of government in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine and proclaimed independence from Kiev, promising a referendum on joining Russia.

Putin orders crackdown on NGOs after Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a crackdown on "destructive" non-government organisations, saying such groups were behind the mass protests that brought down Ukraine's government. Moscow has repeatedly accused the new authorities in Kiev and the protesters who toppled pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych of being extremists, nationalists and even "Nazis".

Putin warns against letting West use anti-Kremlin groups

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin told the FSB security service on Monday to ensure Russia did not follow what he said was Ukraine's example by letting the West use local groups for "destructive" purposes. Putin's remarks signaled his lingering concern that the West could use non-governmental organizations to fuel dissent in Russia, despite a clampdown on groups funded from abroad since big protests against him in the winter of 2011-12.

Gazprom demands 'immediate' payment from Ukraine

Russia's gas giant Gazprom on Thursday demanded that Ukraine's Naftogaz takes immediate steps to pay for its gas deliveries, valued at over $2.2 billion. "Naftogaz Ukraine must take immediate measures to pay off the accrued debt," the Russian company said in a statement after its chairman Alexei Miller met with head of Naftogaz Andrei Sobolev. "At this time, the total debt by Naftogaz is estimated at over $2.2 billion including deliveries in March," Gazprom said.
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