Gazprom accuses Ukraine of blocking gas transits again

January 13th, 2009 - 8:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Jan 13 (DPA) Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom said Tuesday Ukraine has again blocked on-shipments of Russian gas to Europe.”This morning Gazprom began realising its plan to restore gas deliveries to Europe. Ukraine blocked all our actions,” the company’s deputy chief Alexander Medvedev was quoted by news agency Interfax as saying.

“This is a violation of all our previous agreements,” Medvedev said. “Under such conditions, we cannot physically carry out gas transit via Ukrainian territory.”

Russia resumed supplies of gas to Europe Tuesday morning after observer teams were in place to measure gas under an EU-brokered deal between Moscow and Kiev, who blame each other for the disruptions of supplies to Europe.

Russian news agency Interfax and Itar-tass cited sources in the gas monitoring team at Ukraine’s southern Sudzha gas sompressor station confirming Gazprom’s claim.

Gazprom chief Alexei Miller said Monday Gazprom would initially pump “test” quantities of gas, and only increase supplies if the gas pressure on Ukraine’s western border equalled input.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had already given Gazprom the go-ahead to again cut supplies if it believed Ukraine was siphoning off gas meant for Europe.

Sudzha is the first checkpoint in Ukraine’s gas transport system for Russian fuel sent onward to Moldova and other Balkan nations, who are suffering the most from the gas cuts in a bitterly cold winter.

Moscow and Kiev have not yet resolved the contractual dispute that sparked the crisis Jan 1, meaning no gas flows Tuesday were to supply Ukrainian customers.

Ukraine’s Naftogaz earlier confirmed it had received 76.6 million cubic metres of Russian gas - only roughly one-quarter of Gazprom’s usual winter shipments to Europe.

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