Russia threatens to cut off gas to Ukraine, Europe

2015-02-24 18:28

Kiev - Russia's state-owned gas giant Gazprom warned on Tuesday it could cut off gas deliveries to Ukraine within two days, upping the stakes in the crisis there and threatening supplies to the rest of Europe.

The Gazprom announcement came hours ahead of a Paris meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France.

Ukraine's national gas company, Naftogaz, has already said the Russian company was not supplying gas Ukraine has paid for.

Gazprom last week started providing direct gas deliveries to parts of Ukraine under the control of pro-Russia separatists fighting government forces, supplanting Naftogaz deliveries disrupted by pipeline damage.

"Ukraine has failed to make a new pre-payment for gas in time," Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said in a statement on Tuesday.

That "will in two days lead to a complete termination of the Russian gas supplies to Ukraine, which creates serious risks for the gas transit to Europe," Miller said.

He added that it takes two days for Gazprom to receive money transferred from Naftogaz.

But the Ukrainian company issued a statement accusing Gazprom of failing to honour pre-paid gas deliveries on Sunday.

"Naftogaz ordered 114 million cubic meters in line with the 'Winter Package' supply conditions, but Gazprom delivered only 47 million cubic meters," it said.

Naftogaz complained this was a "violation" of a supply deal signed in October in Brussels between the Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers and the European Commission.

Gas supplies to Ukraine are vital not only to provide heating and energy during the freezing winter, but also because of Ukraine's key role as a transit point for Russian gas to Europe.

Russia supplies around a third of Europe's gas, around half of it flowing via Ukraine.

Many eastern EU states are totally dependent on Russian gas, while Greece, Germany and Italy depend on it significantly.

  • Sean Mitchell - 2015-02-24 19:01

    Wow. Cutting off your biggest foreign currency earner. Who needs sanctions? Russia is more than capable of screwing itself up.

      VoxPopuli - 2015-02-24 19:39

      They're not earning foreign currency from that deadbeat neighbour! Gazprom is not a charity, the EU wanted the problem called ukraine, so they need to deal with the problems it brought with it!

      Jacob Maermerrie - 2015-02-24 21:06

      @ Vox __ can you read ? They are not supplying what they had already been paid for __ but what else can you expect from the Putin-stooges !?

      arthur.salvado - 2015-02-25 07:51

      Too much CNN Sean ? Try RT for a more balanced view. Forget FOX but scan Al Jazeera from time to time. Picture will change and your opinion will challenged. Good luck

      Lis Zebos - 2015-02-25 08:31

      Ukraine is unfortunately used by USA to achieve its agenda to become gas supplier to the EU. They are strategically causing a chaos between Russia and the EU so their shale gas could be considered an alternative. What a smart move to protect its dying business! Believe it or not, Putting is way too smarter than what CNN and BBC make the world to believe. Sadly for Germany, their president is used to push the agenda of reviving the screwed economy of USA at its own expense, it completely depends on Russia for gas supply. Russia may be suffering currently, but it is establishing strategic partnerships with the growing economies, who in the long run will be a winner... USA will stop at nothing to get its hands to the brush that will paint Russia black... I don't think Putting is too stupid to see this, the rest of the world can kiss Kerry's ass but not him

  • dunkie56 - 2015-02-24 19:43

    The fact that the Western European countries will allow Ukraine to jeopardize their energy supplies from Russia is diabolical!The EU must begin to take serious steps to rein in the fanatics in Ukraine or a regional war will begin sooner rather than later!The Kiev "junta" refuse to pull back their heavy weapons and use excuse after excuse.The "junta" needs to be told to behave or else they will start a wider European war,here's hoping their still exist some common sense in the Western European leadership.As for David Cameron the less said the better he belongs in an pub definitely not as the leader of the UK!No worries the next election will see the back of him!

  • Imraan Scholtz - 2015-02-24 20:28

    Russia is depends on nobody. Let america send them gas

  • Mark Harold Jones - 2015-02-25 06:30

    Own goal Russia. Short term tactical suicide and long term strategic foolishness. Europe will now be forced to develop alternatives to Russian unreliabilty, which will destroy Russias last vestige of leverage in the region. Boy Putins oigarch puppet masters must be squirming to get this silly

  • Alicia Gouws - 2015-02-26 08:52

    Russia is holding all the cards... whether they are right or wrong it doesnt matter.

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