Along with a military conflict in the east, Ukraine is struggling with a $4.5 billion gas debt to Russia. Gazprom last week cut gas shipments to Ukraine after the talks to settle the debt and negotiate a lower price failed. Supplies to Europe via Ukraine and other pipelines have not been affected, however.
Ukraine has sought to counter the Russian move by trying to negotiate gas supplies from other European countries that buy Russian gas. European Union officials said they were working to set up so-called "reverse flow" shipments back to Ukraine via Slovakia.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Friday that the company is closely monitoring the situation and may curb supplies "in the foreseeable future" to those nations that would pump the Russian gas to Ukraine through reverse flow, which he described as a "half-fraudulent scheme." He wouldn't name any specific countries.