Russia Slashes Gas Exports To Europe Via Ukraine: Kiev

KIEV, Ukraine -- Russian energy giant Gazprom has drastically cut gas deliveries via Ukraine, which will disrupt supplies to Europe, Ukrainian state gas company Naftogaz told AFP on Tuesday.

Russian energy giant Gazprom has drastically cut gas deliveries via Ukraine, which will disrupt supplies to Europe.

"They have reduced deliveries to 92 million cubic metres per 24 hours compared to the promised 221 million cubic metres without explanation. We do not understand how we will deliver gas to Europe," said Naftogaz spokesman Valentin Zemlyansky.

"This means that in a few hours problems with supplies to Europe will begin," he added.

The nearly 60-percent reduction came a day after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered Gazprom to start cutting supplies bound for Europe via Ukraine in retaliation for Ukraine's alleged theft of Russian gas.

Ukraine denies that it is siphoning off gas and has accused Russia of being behind the current gas crisis, which began on January 1 when Gazprom stopped deliveries to Ukraine's domestic market because of a bitter payment dispute.

A number of European Union countries have reported shortfalls in gas supplies as a result of the dispute. The EU depends on Russia for around a quarter of its total gas supplies.

Some 80 percent of Russian gas exports to the EU are pumped through Ukraine.

Source: AFP

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