Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Ukraine was likely to have new problems paying for Russian gas because Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko was blocking payments, according to Reuters.

"It looks like, we will again have problems with energy payments," Putin said after a telephone call with Ukraine's Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Putin, speaking at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, said Yushchenko was "blocking the transfer of funds" to pay for Russian gas.

He added that the European Union had not given the money it promised to Ukraine to help ease gas problems.

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