Ukraine stops all gas supplies to Europe: Gazprom

January 7th, 2009 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Berlin/Kiev, Jan 7 (RIA Novosti) Ukraine has closed down the fourth and final pipeline pumping Russian gas to Europe, Russia’s energy giant Gazprom said Wednesday.Ukraine’s national energy company Naftogaz said Gazprom had stopped feeding gas to Ukrainian pipes, hence it closed down its network.

“Deliveries through the Sudzha station were reduced to zero at 7.44 a.m. (05:44 GMT).” Naftogaz’s press secretary Valentin Zemlyansky said Wednesday.

The latest closure added Austria, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia to the growing list of countries not receiving Russian gas.

The three other pipelines were closed Tuesday, ending deliveries via Ukraine to Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, and Bosnia. Supplies to Italy, Poland, France and Slovenia are seriously disrupted.

Gazprom cut off gas supplies to Ukraine Jan 1 after talks with Kiev on a new deal for 2009 and debt repayments failed late New Year’s Eve. Naftogaz said Tuesday that discussions would resume Thursday.

According to Gazprom, Ukraine failed to deliver 65.3 million cubic meters of gas to consumers in Europe from Jan 1-4, and the Russian gas monopoly demanded that Kiev make up the shortfall.

A Gazprom official said Wednesday that Ukraine had stolen another 21 million cubic meters of gas.

“In the past 24 hours under the pretext of technical requirements Naftogaz has stolen 21 million cubic meters more gas intended for delivery to Europe,” Sergei Kupriyanov said on a TV channel.

“In these conditions we have no choice but to reduce deliveries by 21 million cubic meters.”

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