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Ukraine plots some shady schemes with its partners to get Russian gas — Putin

July 01, 15:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine was refusing to pay debts and resorting to outright blackmail by demanding groundless cuts in the price of Russian gas
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Japaridze

MOSCOW, July 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that there is no such thing as reverse traffic of gas from Western Europe to Ukraine, nor can such a possibility emerge in the future. Kiev appears to have plotted some shady schemes with some of its partners, he claimed.

Speaking at a conference of Russian ambassadors on Tuesday, Putin said that Ukraine’s abuse of its gas purchase liabilities was a common problem. The country was refusing to pay debts and resorting to outright blackmail by demanding groundless cuts in the price of Russian gas. “The treaty was signed back in 2009, and we have carefully observed it,” Putin said.

He recalled that since June 16 Ukraine was shifted to prepayment rules and would be getting precisely the amount of gas it has paid for. “Today they are paying nothing and get nothing,” he said.

“What they are getting are so-called reverse supplies. We do know what this is all about. It is artificial reverse traffic. There is no such thing in reality,” Putin said. “How is it possible to use the same pipe to pump gas both ways? It does not take to be big specialist in the gas sphere to understand that this is unrealistic,” Putin said.

“They have devised some shady schemes with some of their partners. They are getting Russian gas and paying to some of their partners in Europe, who under-consume these amounts,” Putin said. ”We see everything,” he said. “We have taken no action so far for the sole purpose of not exacerbating the situation,” Putin said.

However, in his opinion, “all proper conclusions must be derived in a situation like this".

“What is most important is that consumers and gas providers should not be harmed as a result of actions by Ukrainian politicians and officials,” Putin said.

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