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"Last-ditch" gas talks in Moscow

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"Last-ditch" gas talks in Moscow

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The Ukrainian Prime Minister Iulia Timoshenko has flown to Moscow, for what are being called ‘last-ditch talks’ to solve Europe’s mid-winter gas crisis. Her decision to meet her Russian counterpart in Moscow implies that Timoshenko is optimistic of emerging with something positive.

In Berlin yesterday, Vladimir Putin again accused Ukraine of causing the crisis, by siphoning off gas destined for European customers from Ukrainian transit pipes. The European Union has been infuriated by the row, which has damaged Russia’s image as a reliable business partner. Putin admitted a solution is needed urgently. With Europe suffering a freezing new year, many homes and businesses have been left without heating. Slovakia alone puts its losses at 100 million euros a day. It is hoped today’s talks may at least see supplies resumed to Europe, with Russia and Ukraine left to resolve their own differences.