The Russian energy giant Gazprom says talks to resolve a dispute with Ukraine, which is disrupting gas deliveries to Europe, cannot resume because it says there has been ‘no relevant response’ from Kiev. Gazprom cut gas supplies to Ukraine on New Year’s Day, saying they had not paid their bill, and talks on prices for 2009 had broken down.
Russia has accused Ukraine of stealing gas bound for Europe from pipelines which cross the country. Kiev said it was Gazprom itself which had reduced European deliveries. The row underlines Europe’s desire for a more direct northern pipeline that by-passes Ukraine. Romania, Hungary and Poland report drops of about 30 per cent in supply. Bulgaria has also reported a fall and said Turkey, Greece and Macedonia, which rely on Bulgarian transit routes, are also being affected.