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Putin: Russia will reduce transit gas supplies if Ukraine starts siphoning gas

Moscow, November 11 (Interfax) - Russia will reduce the supply of transit gas via Ukraine if the latter starts taking energy resources illegally, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said.

"If our partners pay us for the supplies meant for internal consumption, they will get it for internal consumption. If they do not pay for the supplies for internal consumption, that means they will not get it. If they do not get it, it's likely that they will siphon from the export pipeline. Once they start siphoning, we will reduce the supply," Putin told a press conference after talks with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.

The question of guaranteed winter gas supplies "should be referred" not to Russia, the prime minister said.

"Ukraine has the financial capability to pay, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) has confirmed this to us. The problem is that, apart from a host of other things, there is a presidential election campaign going on there and, as you know, [Ukraine's] head of government and president are in different pre-election camps, they have their own internal political interests," Putin said.

We need to ensure the compliance by this country with its international commitment, including its obligation to transit gas to Europe, "without interfering in the internal political processes in Ukraine," the prime minister said.




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