Putin warns Ukraine of 'severe consequences' in gas standoff

January 1, 2009 - 0:0

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Wednesday warned Ukraine of ""severe consequences"" if Kiev disrupted the transit of Russian gas to European customers.

""If our partners say that they are not intending to fulfil the conditions of a contract signed previously then that means that they are intending to annul it,"" Putin told President Dmitry Medvedev in televised remarks.
""And this will be a completely different story with very severe consequences for the transit country, in my opinion. Not only in its relations with Russia, as the exporter, but also with consumers in EU countries.""
Putin's uncompromising warning came after Russian energy giant Gazprom said Ukraine's state gas firm Naftogaz had threatened to divert gas supplies transitting Ukraine for delivery to Europe.