Putin is forcing Ukraine to use Western aid money to pay Ukrainian debts to Russia -- debts that Russia forebeared while Ukraine was in its orbit.

Also later Friday, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union will hold talks over debts running into billions of dollars that state-run Russian gas firm Gazprom says Kiev owes.

Putin has warned that not paying the bill, which Gazprom estimates at $3.5 billion, could lead to him turning off the taps, which would also affect several European countries.

Kiev is expected to use part of a $17-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, announced on Wednesday, to settle the bill.

Whatever aid money the West sends to Ukraine will end up enriching Russia.

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