Masked, armed security agents searched the headquarters of Ukraine's natural gas company Wednesday in a dispute between the country's feuding leaders that could jeopardize gas shipments to Europe.
The national security service, controlled by President Viktor Yushchenko, accused his rival Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's government and its energy firm, Naftogaz, of diverting huge amounts of Russian gas. The security service ordered the raid as part of an investigation.
Tymoshenko denied the accusations and claimed Yushchenko staged the search in order to get a hand on the company's profits.
The two leaders are locked in a political battle that has impeded an effective response to the financial crisis in Ukraine, one of the worst performing economies in Europe.