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Ukraine stops buying Russian gas, closes airspace

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated Wednesday as Ukraine decided to stop buying Russian natural gas — hoping to rely on supplies from other countries — and closed its airspace to its eastern neighbor.

Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014 and its support for separatist rebels in the east has brought relations between the two countries to a post-Soviet low. Ukraine has since been trying to cut its dependence on Russian gas.

Russia's state-controlled gas company, Gazprom, said Wednesday that it stopped sending gas to Ukraine on Wednesday morning and will supply no more because Ukraine has not paid in advance for more...