Gazprom Threatens to Stop Gas Supplies to Ukraine in 2 Days
Russian energy giant Gazprom warned on Tuesday that Europe was running a serious risk of losing access to the flow of gas via Ukraine in the next two days.
The company's statement comes after Ukraine failed to meet a deadline to deliver on a debt payment to the Russian state-owned company.
A deal reached last year envisages a price discount for Ukraine's Naftogaz that is to be in force between
November 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015. It put an end to a months-long gas standoff between Russia and Ukraine, with the former claiming Kiev was failing to pay and the Ukrainian government rejecting a price hike introduced in April.
Last summer, Gazprom also introduced a prepayment system and stopped the gas flow to Ukraine (but not transited amounts).
The agreement keeps the prepayment system in force for the time being, and Russian officials quoted by RBC daily argue Kiev only has amounts of gas for the next 48 hours.
Some experts suggest Ukraine is actually making its payments, but the problem lies in the two countries' diverging interpretations about gas deliveries to the Donbass region.
On February 19, Gazprom started supplying gas to rebel-controlled regions of Eastern Ukraine after Kiev halted deliveries. Moscow, however, maintains it is Naftogaz that must foot the bill for the current Donbass consumption.
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