Published: April 14, 2014 (Issue # 1805)
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday called Washington’s reaction to his letter to European leaders on Ukraine strange, adding “it’s not nice to read others’ mail.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the US was the first to react to Putin’s letter on the Ukraine crisis, sent to 18 European heads of state on Thursday.
“An official representative from the State Department said that Russia should not politicize gas deals with Ukraine, it should support the price market,” Lavrov said, adding the State Department called this “gas blackmail.”
Lavrov said Putin’s letter on the situation in Ukraine was taken seriously by its addressees.
“They promised to study it quickly and prepare a reaction.”
In the letter, the Russian leader voiced concerns about Ukraine’s debt crisis that might lead to default and disrupt Russian gas supplies to Europe.
He further called for urgent consultations at the ministerial level in order to work out concerted actions to stabilize Ukraine’s economy.
The Russian president painted a bleak picture of Ukraine’s economy, saying the country is “steadfastly heading toward default” because of its unbalanced trade with Europe.
Russian energy giant Gazprom will be compelled to switch over to prepaid gas deliveries to Ukraine or completely cut off natural gas supplies, should Kiev further violate its terms of payment, he told European leaders.