Several EU countries have reported a drop in gas pressure in supplies from Russia, as the row between Moscow and Ukraine intensifies. Romania said supplies had fallen by 40 percent, while Hungary and Poland also reported weaker pressure. Russia’s Gazprom said it believed Ukraine was siphoning gas from pipes heading to Europe. “Ukraine not only signed, but ratified the Energy Charter, and this charter specifies in black and white what obligations the transit country must observe,” said Gazprom deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev.
Much of Europe’s gas from Russia passes along pipelines running through Ukraine, whose own deilveries have been cut in a row over unpaid bills. It underlines Europe’s wish for a more direct northern pipeline by-passing Ukraine. It is a major problem for the Czech Republic, just two days into its six-month EU presidency. Prague demanded supply contracts be honoured, and called an emergency summit next week.