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For two weeks, reports have been surfacing of large falls in volumes of Russian gas deliveries to Eastern European countries that are supplying gas to Ukraine, with which Russia is locked in a gas price dispute.
Russia has demanded changes to a free-trade deal between Ukraine and the European Union, underlining that Moscow was not satisfied by a last-minute concession from the EU to delay implementing the pact at the heart of the conflict in Ukraine.
A convoy of more than 200 white trucks crossed the Russian border to deliver humanitarian aid to a battered Ukrainian city on Saturday, a move made without Kiev's consent yet met with silence by Ukraine's top leaders.
As Scotland geared up to vote on breaking away from the U.K., The Moscow Times came into possession of a memo produced by the Russian government discussing how to deal with possible Scottish independence.