Russia controls the natural gas but Ukraine has the bill. US$3.5 billion is owed to Russian energy giant Gazprom. Russia is squeezing Ukraine. It has ended gas price subsidies, is demanding up-front payment, and has threatened to cut gas supplies if bills are not paid. But Ukraine’s economy is already in crisis. The IMF has stepped in – but it has been warned that matters for Ukraine might only get worse as tranches of payment go to Russia instead of being used to shore up Ukraine’s collapsing economy.

<i>Ukraine is heading for sovereign default - likely before the end of 2014. The country is caught in a tug-of-war between Russia and the West, where the Kremlin insists that all...

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said, ‘The country is on the edge of economic and financial bankruptcy,’ and that the package of measures called for ‘is very unpopular, very difficult, very tough’
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