Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has told citizens who are not paying their gas bills that they risk being cut off unless they make their payments.
Medvedev met on October 29 in Gorki with Gazprom chief Aleksei Miller, who told the prime minister that debt for gas supplies to Russia's regions exceeds 100 billion rubles ($3.1 billion).
Medvedev said this "gas communism" should be stopped and told Miller that a system needs to be developed to identify and cut off "delinquents" without interrupting supplies to people who pay their bills on time.
Medvedev suggested it might be necessary to bill people in advance.
Prices for natural gas in Russia have been slowly increasing to bring them into line with world standards, but the introduction of individual gas meters for customers has not kept pace.
Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax