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Kiev blames Moscow for Europe gas cutbacks

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) – Ukraine’s government is blaming Russia for natural gas shortages in some European countries as a severe cold spell grips the region.

Fuel and Energy Minister Yuri Boiko said Friday that Russia was shipping some 15 percent less gas than usual because of increased domestic consumption due to the cold weather.

Germany, Italy and Austria have reported cutbacks in Russian gas supplies, but Russia’s energy giant Gazprom has blamed them on Kiev, accusing Ukraine of siphoning off gas destined for European consumers.

Gazprom declined comment Friday.

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