Putin To Give Ukraine Ultimatum At Moscow Talks, Kommersant Says

MOSCOW, Russia -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will give Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych an ultimatum at Sept. 24 talks in Moscow in their dispute over gas deliveries, Kommersant reported.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Yanukovych, who will meet both Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev, will be told that Ukraine must join a customs union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan or it won’t get a chance to renegotiate its current gas contract, the Moscow-based newspaper said, citing unidentified Kremlin and Russian Foreign Ministry officials.

Ukraine has said it wants to reduce by two-thirds its imports of Russian gas in a phased three-year move from Jan. 1.

Russia is prepared to go to international arbitration to enforce a 10-year contract signed in 2009 that doesn’t allow Ukraine to cut purchases of Russian gas, according to Kommersant.

Source: Bloomberg