Russia said it has cut off gas to Ukraine over a contract dispute but has increased supplies to the rest of Europe.
In January 2006 when the state gas monopoly Gazprom previously turned off the taps, there was a brief fall in supplies to some part of Europe. The EU gets around a quarter of its gas from Russia, most of which comes through Ukraine. Gazprom said the cut-off does not apply to deliveries to Europe but there could be a knock-on effect if it causes a drop in pressure in the transit pipelines or if Kiev halts flows to Europe as a bargaining chip. A spokesman explained that while supplies to Ukraine have been cut, supplies to Europe have been increased. Kiev is urging fresh talks, as is the EU. Gazprom says it is still owed money and there is no agreement over new prices for 2009. Kiev says if prices rise so too should the transit tariffs that Gazprom pays.