Kreml gjør ikke lenger noe forsøk på å skjule at de driver utpressing i ren gangsterstil: Gazprom truer Ukraina med full stans i gassleveransene hvis ikke en restanse på 1,3 milliarder dollar er betalt innen utgangen av oktober.
Det er svaret på at Julia Timosjenko ser ut til å vinne parlamentsvalget.
The Kremlin reacted today to the prospect of Yuliya Tymoshenko becoming Prime Minister of Ukraine by threatening to reduce winter gas supplies.
Gazprom, the state-controlled monopoly, issued a warning that deliveries would be cut unless Ukraine paid a $1.3 billion debt by the end of this month. It accused RosUkrEnergo, the Ukrainian company that receives Russian gas, of breaching the terms of a supply contract.
But the timing of the announcement raised immediate suspicions that Russia was using energy as a political weapon to punish Ukrainians for backing Ms Tymoshenko, its pro-Western adversary in the Orange revolution.