Gazprom threatens to halt gas shipments to Ukraine on June 3

By Anton Doroshev 
Bloomberg News

OAO Gazprom, Russia’s gas-export monopoly, will stop supplying gas to Ukraine on June 3 unless it starts making payments for fuel supplies.

Ukraine owes $3.5 billion and from June will only receive gas that it pays for in advance, Chief Executive Officer Alexey Miller said at a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow Monday.

The deadline marks an escalation in the dispute over energy supplies that’s an element in the broader struggle for Russian influence over Ukraine. Stopping shipments to Ukraine may have a knock-on impact on the rest of Europe because about 15 percent of the region’s gas supply travels through the country’s Soviet-era pipeline system.