So much for the Russia-Ukraine talks bringing the two sides together as even Germany's Steinmeier could only say it's "hard to say if breakthrough made." Shortly after talks ended, Ukrainian Premier Yatsenyuk stated unequivocally that "we know about the plans of Russia to cut off transit even in European Union member countries," followed by some notably heavy-on-the-war-rhetoric comments. The Russians were quick to respond, as the energy ministry was "surprised" by his statements on Ukraine gas transits and blasted that comments were an "attempt at EU disinformation."
Russia to halt gas transit to Europe via Ukraine in winter - Ukrainian Premier
"We know about the plans of Russia to cut off transit even in European Union member countries. That's why [Russian] companies were ordered to maximally pump gas to the storage facilities on the territory of Europe," he said before starting the regular Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The Premier said that Russia is also forming plans to stop all supplies of energy resources to Ukraine.
"We know about Russia's plans to basically switch off all energy resources for Ukraine," he added.
Yatseniuk added that Ukraine had accumulated nearly 15 billion cubic meters of gas in its underground storages and now deals with diversification of coal supplies to the country, "since the Russian Federation and its mercenaries bomb and destroy coalmines [in eastern Ukraine]."
Besides, Yatseniuk reported that Ukraine hopes to continue the talks and consultations in the trilateral Ukraine-EU-Russia format to address energy concerns.
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Of course, amid all this disinformation, the Russians remain confident that Ukraine will simply be syphoning what it needs... (and the European leaders are worried about the implications of Ukraine's threats and actions)...
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The Russians responded...
- *RUSSIAN ENERGY MINISTRY SURPRISED ON UKRAINE TRANSIT COMMENT
- *RUSSIA: UKRAINE TRANSIT COMMENT IS ATTEMPT AT EU DISINFORMATION
- *RUSSIA WILL FULFILL ALL CONTRACT OBLIGATIONS: ENERGY MINISTRY
- *RUSSIAN ENERGY MINISTER NOVAK COMMENTS IN E-MAILED STATEMENT
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Of course -the question is - does Russia have a 'contractual obligation' with Ukraine if it is not paying the bills...
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We leave it to the Germans to summarize the de-escalation...
- *STEINMEIER: UKRAINE WORST CRISIS IN EAST EUROPE SINCE COLD WAR
- *STEINMEIER SEES DANGEROUS ESCALATION IN UKRAINE IN RECENT DAYS