Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said Russia should stop its "blackmail" through a cut in gas deliveries and allow experts to work out a 2009 supply and transit contract, Reuters reported.

"What is most important in these talks now is to bring a halt to the political emotions, stop the blackmail and let experts start working out answers on the basis of clear and comprehensible principles ... in the next agreement on transit and supply contracts for 2009," he told a news briefing.