Russian gas giant warns Ukraine's supplies will be cut

Russia will cut off natural gas supplies to Ukraine if no compromise is reached by Jan. 1, officials with Russia's state-run gas monopoly said Tuesday, markedly raising the stakes in an increasingly acrimonious dispute.

Gas giant Gazprom also gave a tough rebuttal to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko's proposal that price hikes for &to=' target=_blank>Russian gas supplies be gradually implemented. Moscow has proposed tripling its gas prices immediately.

In an interview with the Kremlin-backed satellite TV channel Russia Today, Gazprom Chief Executive Officer &to=' target=_blank>Alexei Miller said time was running out for reaching a new contract with Kiev.

"If no compromise over Russian gas supplies to Ukraine is found before the New Year, the supplies will be stopped," Miller said, according to Russia Today.