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Putin: Ukraine gave military aid to Georgia in war with Russia

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin charged Ukraine with supplying arms and manpower to Georgia during its recent war with Russia, and said if Ukraine's involvement was proven, it would be a "crime."

Russian news and information agency RIA Novosti reports that Mr. Putin made the accusation Thursday during a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to sign a new contract on Russian natural gas exports to Ukraine.

The BBC writes that Ms. Tymoshenko said she was confident that Ukraine's involvement in the war in Georgia would not be confirmed. The BBC adds that Putin's accusation "amounted to an attack on [Tymoshenko's] political rival, [Ukrainian] President Viktor Yushchenko," who sets Ukraine's defense policy.

Reuters reports that despite Putin's accusation, he and Tymoshenko agreed to a new deal to gradually increase Ukraine's payments for Russian gas over the next three years. Kiev, which has been paying Russia roughly $180 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, had been concerned that Russia would require it to immediately start paying market prices, which are more than $500 per 1,000 cubic meters.

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