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Russia To Halt Gas Supplies To Ukraine, Mulling Coal Cuts

Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak says Moscow will cut gas supplies to Ukraine for Kyiv's failure to pay up front for deliveries and might also suspend coal shipments to Ukraine in retaliation for a power blackout of Crimea.

Novak said on November 24 that the gas deliveries will be stopped "today or tomorrow due to the lack of advance payment by Ukraine," adding that Russia could retaliate "politically and economically" unless Kyiv restores electricity supplies to Crimea.

Russian-annexed Crimea continues to rely on emergency generators to meet its basic power needs after unknown saboteurs blew up electricity pylonssupplying the peninsula with electricity, in Ukraine's Kherson region over the weekend.

Pro-Ukrainian activists have so far prevented repairs to the damaged pylons and associated power lines.

The Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on November 23 that just one of the four damaged transmission towers could be repaired at the moment.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax