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11 April 2014

Ukraine in offer to troubled east

Ukraine leader Yatsenyuk offers powers to troubled east

yatsenyuk

Ukraine’s interim prime minister has offered to devolve more powers to eastern regions, where pro-Russian separatists are defying the government.

He is holding talks with regional leaders in Donetsk, where activists demanding self-rule are holding a big government building.

It is not clear if Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s offer will satisfy the separatists.

The threat of Russia cutting gas deliveries has now prompted Ukraine to seek gas from French and German firms.

The EU says it can pump gas back to Ukraine with reverse-flow pipeline technology. Usually the Russian gas flows to Europe via Ukraine.

In Kiev, Ukraine’s Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said it would seek the gas “on the conditions offered by European gas companies”, which he named as Germany’s RWE and “a French gas company”.

On Thursday, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said in a letter to 18 European countries that gas supplies to Ukraine could be cut if Kiev did not pay off its debts, and warned this could affect gas deliveries to Europe.

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