Tue, January 20, 2009
World > Europe > Russia-Ukraine gas row

Russia resumes gas supply to Europe via Ukraine

2009-01-20 02:59:32 GMT2009-01-20 10:59:32 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MOSCOW, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Russia's gas giant Gazprom is to resume gas deliveries to Europe via Ukraine on Tuesday, Tass News Agency reported.

The news agency quoted Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is in Moscow for negotiations on a Russia-Ukraine gas spat, as saying that Gazprom resumed gas supplies at 4:00 local time (0100 GMT).

"At 4 a.m. Moscow time, Gazprom let the gas into Europe," she was quoted as saying.

However, Gazprom spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov told press that the company got the order to resume gas at 4:00 local time (0100 GMT), and the tap will be reopened at 10:00 local time (0700 GMT).

The resumption came after Russia and Ukraine signed deals following negotiations, pledging to restore natural gas supplies to Europe to end a dispute that led to a two-week cutoff of shipments.

Russia cut off gas supplies via Ukraine to Europe on Jan. 7, one week after it halted gas supplies to Ukraine due to failed talks on pricing and terms of fees.

Gazprom reopened its taps to Europe on Tuesday under a three-way agreement signed by the EU, Ukraine and Russia at a weekend summit, but no gas reached Europe.

Russia accused Ukraine of blocking the gas flow, while Ukraine argued that Russia's choice of the gas route was technically " unacceptable."

Russia supplies a quarter of EU's gas needs, with 80 percent ofit sent through Ukrainian pipelines.

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