Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom is threatening again to cut gas supply to Ukraine if it does not repay its debt this month.
Gazprom's CEO Alexei Miller says in televised comments that "Gazprom will have no grounds to continue shipping gas to Ukraine" if its $2 billion debt is not repaid by Dec. 31.
Ukraine is scrambling for the money amid a financial crisis and political turmoil.
Gazprom has cut Ukraine's supplies before. A January 2006 cutoff amid a pricing dispute led to a reduction of European supplies and added to Western concerns about Russia's reliability as an energy source.
Miller says Ukraine also is considering a deal under which it would pay $418 per 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas _ about what European consumers pay.