MOSCOW — Russia on Tuesday sharply raised the price for natural gas to Ukraine and threatened to reclaim billions in previous discounts, raising the heat on its cash-strapped government, while Ukrainian police moved to disarm members of a radical nationalist group after a shooting rampage in the capital.
NATO foreign ministers were gathering for a two-day meeting in Brussels to consider further steps in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea, including measures to reassure the Baltic states, Poland, and Romania that the alliance would help guarantee their security.
Alexei Miller, the head of Russia's state-controlled Gazprom natural gas giant, said Tuesday that the company has withdrawn December's discount that put the price of gas at $268.50 per 1,000 cubic meters and set the price at $385.50 per 1,000 cubic meters for the second quarter.
The discount was part of a financial lifeline that Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to Ukraine's president, Viktor Yanukovych, after his decision to ditch a pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Moscow. The move fueled three months of protests that led Yanukovych to flee to Russia in February.