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Putin pledges to fulfil Europe gas obligations

President Vladimir Putin on Friday said Moscow would fulfil its obligations to send natural gas to Europe but also said the United States had no business interfering in Russia's talks with Europe over Kiev's debt. "We certainly guarantee the fulfilment of our obligations before our European customers in full," Putin said in comments released by the Kremlin. "The issue is not about us, the issue is about securing transit through Ukraine."

Russia warns Europe of gas supply cuts over Ukraine debt

By Alexei Anishchuk MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin warned European leaders on Thursday Russia would cut natural gas supplies to Ukraine if it did not pay its bills and said this could lead to a reduction of onward deliveries to Europe. In a letter to the leaders of 18 countries, he demanded urgent talks with Europe on pulling Ukraine's economy out of crisis but made clear his patience was running out over Kiev's $2.2 billion gas debt to its former Soviet master.

'Secret polls' sealed decision to annex Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that his decision to take the Crimean peninsula under Russian control was made final after "secret polls" showed that its people wanted to be ruled by Moscow. "My decisions were finalised after people's attitudes became clear," Putin said. "We weren't prepared for such a turn of events. To tell you the truth, we could imagine how people felt but did not know for sure."

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.

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's Putin wants talks with Europe on Ukraine gas debt

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin has told European leaders a dispute over Ukraine's gas debt to Russia could affect supplies of Russian gas to Europe and proposed urgent discussions on the matter, his spokesman said on Thursday. The remarks were the strongest sign yet that Russia could curtail supplies of gas to Ukraine, which could increase tension between Moscow and Kiev and aggravate the worst crisis in East-West ties since the Cold War.

Putin warns Ukraine on gas supplies, urges talks

President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday Russia may begin requiring advance payment for gas supplies unless Ukraine comes to the negotiating table over its unpaid energy bills. Russia's state-controlled natural gas company "Gazprom will only send gas in the amounts that the Ukrainian side has paid for a month in advance" under the changed sale terms being contemplated, Putin said at a government meeting according to televised excerpts. "They will receive as much as they have paid for," he said.

Putin warns Ukraine on gas supplies, urges talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered Ukraine to come to the negotiating table over its unpaid energy bills, warning that it would otherwise require payment in advance for gas. Ukraine "would receive only what they have paid for" if they failed to negotiate, Putin was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies. as/am/hmn

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 officially divorces his wife Lyudmila: Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has formally divorced his wife Lyudmila after more than 30 years of marriage, Kremlin spokesman said on Wednesday, following a surprise breakup announcement last year. "The divorce has taken place," Dmitry Peskov said, without giving any further details. Putin and his wife announced that their marriage was over last June in a live broadcast on Russian state television, confirming longstanding speculation that they had separated.
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