As concern over gas supplies grows in the EU a flurry of diplomatic activity is taking place today to try to resolve a row between Russia and Ukraine that is causing shortfalls in Europe.
The head of the main Russian energy company, Gazprom, is in Brussels for talks with his Ukrainian counterpart and EU commission chiefs. Russian and Ukrainian executives were also scheduled to meet in Moscow. Yesterday Gazprom suspended supplies of gas destined to transit through Ukraine, saying further deliveries were pointless as Kiev had shut down the pipelines. Ukraine denies the claim and says Russia is deliberately starving Europe of gas. Russia cut off gas for Ukraine’s domestic consumption on New Year’s Day, in a dispute over payment and prices. Parts of the EU have already felt the impact, with shortfalls reported in several countries at the height of a cold snap.