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Putin to Hold Government Meeting on Economic Ties With Ukraine

© RIA Novosti . Sergei Guneev / Go to the photo bankRussian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin - Sputnik International
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Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with senior officials on Wednesday to discuss the looming crisis of economic ties with Ukraine, including natural gas issues, a Kremlin spokesman said.

MOSCOW, April 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with senior officials on Wednesday to discuss the looming crisis of economic ties with Ukraine, including natural gas issues, a Kremlin spokesman said.

"A meeting with the cabinet has been scheduled for tomorrow to discuss a developing emergency situation in economic cooperation with Ukraine, including energy dialogue," spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, said last week Ukraine’s ailing economy would have collapsed without Russia’s financial help.

Russia made a crucial decision to invest a hefty $15 billion in Ukrainian eurobonds late last year, disbursing the first tranche of $3 billion in December. Moscow and Kiev also agreed to steeply cut gas prices for Ukraine in an effort to boost the country’s sluggish economy.

But the cash injections and discounts were frozen following a coup amid violent protests in February that led to far-right parties gaining key positions in the new government.

Amid the current political standoff between Moscow and Kiev, Russia's energy giant Gazprom has cancelled two major gas discounts for Ukraine, bringing the price to $485 per thousand cubic meters starting from April 1.

Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said Tuesday his country would not recognize the current gas price, because it was unfairly high and had “nothing to do with economic and market factors.”

Ukraine currently owes Russia $2.2 billion in gas payment arrears.

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