A day after cutting pressure on natural gas pipelines running to Ukraine following a breakdown in talks over pricing, Russia’s state-owned utility, Gazprom, restored gas flow to ensure supply to Russia’s natural gas customers in Western Europe, according to a report by The New York Times (www.nytimes.com).
Gazprom provides about a quarter of Western Europe”s natural gas and most of that — about 80 percent —- is shipped through a grid of pipelines that cross Ukrainian territory, reports the Times. On Sunday, Gazprom reduced the flow into Ukraine 20 percent, saying it expected Ukraine to continue all the remaining flow westward.
According to the Times, Gazprom accused Ukraine of siphoning 95 million cubic meters of natural gas intended for export to Western Europe after the pressure on the pipelines was reduced. Ukraine denied the accusation, and pressure was restored on the pipelines to Ukraine amid pressure from Russia’s customers in Western Europe. However, Gazprom said the decision to restore pressure does not resolve the dispute over prices and transit fees.