Russia to cut gas supplies to Ukraine furtherMarch 4th, 2008 - 10:31 pm ICT by admin
Moscow, March 4 (RIA Novosti) Russian natural gas giant Gazprom announced Tuesday it would reduce gas supplies to Ukraine by another 25 percent to halve the supplies from the normal level due to an unresolved dispute over the country’s debt. Gazprom cut supplies to Ukraine Monday after talks failed on the country’s outstanding debt of around $600 million, and on contracts for 2008 supplies. Both Ukraine and Gazprom said supplies via Ukraine to the European Union were continuing in full.
Addressing a news conference here, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said: “A decision has been made to reduce supplies by another 25 percent from 8 p.m. Wednesday due to lack of progress in talks and on contracts for gas already supplied.”
Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer, last slashed supplies to Ukraine at the start of 2006, causing temporary shortfalls in some European countries amid freezing temperatures.
Since then, ongoing gas disputes between the two neighbours have sparked concerns in the Europe over the stability of supplies from the region. Around a quarter of the Europe’s gas needs are met by supplies pumped from Russia through Ukraine’s pipeline system.
Ukraine’s national energy company Naftogaz said Monday that gas had already been reduced by more than the quarter announced by Gazprom, and had fallen by 35 percent, or 46 million cubic meters per day. Ukraine normally receives around 130 million cubic meters daily.
While Russia blames Ukraine for not settling the debt it owes, the Ukrainian government accused Monday Gazprom of failing to pay transit fees for supplying gas to Europe through its pipeline system.
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