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Putin says Ukrainian gas price demands force talks into "dead end."

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014 - 01:58

June 11 - Putin accuses Ukraine of sabotaging gas talks, as Kiev says Russian offer is a ''trap.'' Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Newly elected Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko faces a litany of challenges ahead. There are concerns over the state of the eastern part of the country -- questions over the fate of Crimea and the challenge of keeping the lights on in Kiev. Ukraine and Russia are locked in debate over gas prices. Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk says Russia is making an offer Ukraine must refuse. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER ARSENY YATSENIUK, SAYING: "Russia has offered us a decrease of the gas price by $100 (US Dollars) as a so-called discount. I want to state officially that we are familiar with such Russian traps. The discount is set by the government of the Russian Federation and can be canceled by the decision of the government of the Russian Federation." Yatseniuk says Ukraine is holding out for changes in the contract with Russian exporter Gazprom . (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER ARSENY YATSENIUK, SAYING: "That is why our offer was, is, and will be the same. We demand changes in the contract. If gas is a political weapon, then it is clear that it is a political weapon in the hands of the Russian government. And if gas is a commodity, as all over the world, then we are trading on the basis of the contract and not on the basis of whether Russia likes or dislikes the Ukrainian government." Russian President Vladimir Putin does not buy it. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "The reduction is too little for our Ukrainian partners. They want more, although it's not clear on what basis. If this is the case, then it seems that the issue is being driven into a dead end." Moscow says Ukraine has stacked up more than $4 billion in debts to Gazprom and must pay off some of that before a new price deal can be reached.

Putin says Ukrainian gas price demands force talks into "dead end."

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014 - 01:58

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