Medvedev Threatens Sanctions Against Ukraine

MOSCOW, Russia -- Russian President Dimitri Medvedev says Ukraine will face retaliatory sanctions unless it pays up every ruble it owes energy giant Gazprom.

Russia President Dimitri Medvedev.

Speaking in a televised end-of-the-year interview, Medvedev didn't specify what those sanctions might be.

His statement came after Gazprom threatened to cut off gas deliveries to Ukraine on January 1, unless a new contract for 2009 is signed by then.

Gazprom and Ukraine's state energy firm Naftogaz have failed to resolve a dispute over unpaid debts.

Gazprom says Naftogaz owes it almost two billion euros.

A bilateral dispute almost four years ago led to a brief disruption of gas supplies to several European Union countries.

This time Gazprom has pledged to ensure that there is no disruption to the flow of gas to EU customers.

Source: Deutsche Welle