03/04/2014 05:41 EST | Updated 05/04/2014 05:59 EDT

Ukraine: Russia Gas Discount No Longer Being Offered, Says Gazprom Chief

AFP via Getty Images
Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting in his Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow on February 26, 2014. The headaches of Ukraine's new pro-Western interim leaders are compounded by Moscow's decision to freeze payments on a massive bailout package that Putin promised to ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych as his reward for rejecting closer EU ties. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI/ POOL/ MIKHAIL METZEL (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL METZEL/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW - Russia's state-controlled natural gas giant Gazprom says it will cancel a price discount for natural gas supplies to Ukraine.

Gazprom chief Alexei Miller said Tuesday in televised remarks that Ukraine has accumulated a $1.5-billion debt for Russian gas supplies. He added at a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev that Gazprom will cancel a price rebate for Ukraine starting April 1.

Russia offered the discounted price and a $15-billion bailout to Ukraine in December following President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to ditch a pact with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Russia.

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