Ukraine might fail to pay for gas – Putin to EU

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has informed his Swedish counterpart of possible Ukrainian problems paying for Russian gas and its transit to European consumers.

His Swedish counterpart assured the Russian leader that he will convey his concerns to the European Commission.

"Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt of Sweden, which currently presides at the EU, about the development of the Russia-EU dialogue and exchange of current information, including that about energy issues," the Russian government press office was quoted by Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

The press office said that the information about possible problems with Ukraine paying for Russian gas is coming from both unofficial and official sources.

On Friday, the Russian Prime Minister said that his Ukrainian counterpart, Yulia Tymoshenko, had told him over the telephone that President Viktor Yushchenko is blocking payments for Russian gas.