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Russian Energy Minister Says Ukraine Faces Imminent Gas Cut

Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak

Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak has said Russia would likely suspend supplies of gas to Ukraine before a March 2 meeting in Brussels that aims to resolve this latest energy dispute between the two countries.

Speaking at an economic forum in Krasnoyarsk on February 27, Novak said the state-controlled Russian company Gazprom has still has not received a $15-million pre-payment for March.

Under a deal brokered in October by the European Union, Ukraine is meant to continue receiving Russian gas but must pay in advance.

Ukrainian energy company Nafotgaz complained earlier this week that it was not receiving the full of gas it paid for in advance.

Gazprom responded that some of the gas was sent to areas in eastern Ukraine which are under the control of pro-Russian separatists.

The suspension of supplies to Ukraine could affect supplies to Europe.

Novak told reporters at the economic forum that he would be in Brussels for the March 2 meeting.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax