Russia to Georgia: Pay up, or freeze

"Russia's state-controlled natural-gas monopoly threatened to cut off supplies to Georgia if it doesn't agree to a more than doubling in the price of gas imports. OAO Gazprom asked Georgian authorities to finalize the amount of Russian gas imports they want for next year at €178 ($235) per 1,000 cubic meters, or risk receiving no gas at all, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said. Georgia, which now pays €83, has accused Russia of using energy resources as "political blackmail" and as a means of punishing the small, ex-Soviet republic for its efforts to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Russia denies the charges, saying the price is similar to what it charges other European consumers." AP

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