Russia warns of gas disruption if Ukraine doesn’t pay

Global Business

Ukraine and Russia are at odds over gas supplies again with the European Commission playing referee.
CCTV’s Anya Ardayeva reported from Moscow.

Russia warns of gas disruption if Ukraine doesn\'t pay

Russia warns of gas disruption if Ukraine doesn\'t pay

Ukraine and Russia are at odds over gas supplies again with the European Commission playing referee. CCTV's Anya Ardayeva reported from Moscow.

Last week Russia’s energy giant Gazprom said it started direct gas supplies to rebel-held regions in eastern Ukraine. This as Ukraine charged Gazprom with failing to deliver pre-purchased gas to other parts of the country.

Gazprom is now threatening to cut off Ukraine if it doesn’t make new payments. Russian President Vladimir Putin is warning that gas supplies to Europe could be disrupted.

“Gazprom is in full compliance with its contractual obligations and will do so. The prepayment made by the Ukrainian side is enough for three to four days of gas deliveries. If the prepayment does not come, Gazprom, according to the contract and its addendum, will suspend deliveries. Of course, this may create a threat to transit to Europe, to our European partners,” Putin said.

On Thursday, Gazprom said it would exempt gas supplies to rebel-held regions from its main contract with Ukraine.

Europe received around 147 billion cubic meters of Russian gas in 2014, one third of its total needs. Some 40 percent of this gas was shipped via Ukraine. Last year, Moscow cut off gas supplies to Ukraine for six months over accusations of non-payment.

The European Commission is trying to mediate inviting both Russia and Ukraine to a trilateral meeting in Brussels on Monday.

“We of course are trying to make sure that we will keep the winter package intact and we are trying to convene a trilateral meeting, between Ukrainian and Russian energy ministers and me and the Commission very, very soon and we are looking for the possible dates,” Maros Sefcovic, EU energy chief, said.

Sefcovic also said that EU antitrust regulators will soon announce the results of a two-year investigation into Gazprom. Allegations against the company include over-charging its customers in eastern Europe, thwarting rival suppliers and blocking the flow of gas in the region.