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Gas deliveries to Ukraine were reduced by four times at 10.00
Gas deliveries to Ukraine were reduced by four times at 10.00 a.m. on Thursday after last-ditch gas talks ended in failure late Wednesday, Russia's Vesti television channel said.

The state television channel said Russian gas giant Gazprom had ordered the cut, but said deliveries to European consumers have not been affected.

Gazprom's CEO Alexei Miller announced on Wednesday night, "The talks with Ukraine on gas supplies for 2009 ended without result," adding "At 10.00 a.m. (07:00 GMT) on January 1, Gazprom will completely cut gas deliveries to Ukraine."

Kiev and Russia's Gazprom had been holding talks in Moscow on a new gas agreement for 2009 and Ukraine's gas debt. The talks failed after President Viktor Yushchenko reportedly ordered Naftogaz delegation chief Oleh Dubyna to halt negotiations in Moscow and immediately return to Kiev Wednesday night.

Ukraine transits about 80% of Russia's gas to European consumers.

In 2006 a similar gas dispute between the two former Soviet states resulted in a brief cut to supplies to Ukraine. When shortages were reported in some Eastern European countries, Russia accused Ukraine of siphoning off Europe-bound gas.


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