Russia will cut off natural gas supplies to Ukraine if no compromise is reached by Jan. 1, officials with Russia's state-run gas monopoly said Tuesday, markedly raising the stakes in an increasingly acrimonious dispute.
Gas giant Gazprom also gave a tough rebuttal to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko's proposal that price hikes for &to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/89/357/15822_gas.html' target=_blank>Russian gas supplies be gradually implemented. Moscow has proposed tripling its gas prices immediately.
In an interview with the Kremlin-backed satellite TV channel Russia Today, Gazprom Chief Executive Officer &to=http://english.pravda.ru/comp/2002/09/13/36552.html' target=_blank>Alexei Miller said time was running out for reaching a new contract with Kiev.
"If no compromise over Russian gas supplies to Ukraine is found before the New Year, the supplies will be stopped," Miller said, according to Russia Today.