Russia has warned its gas row with Ukraine will get worse before it gets better. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin spoke after meeting his Czech counterpart Mirek Topolanek, the current EU President and who is trying to re-start gas deliveries to Europe.
Russia cut supplies to Ukraine because of unpaid bills, and accused Kiev of siphoning off gas destined for Europe. Independent monitors are in Ukraine to oversee deliveries should a deal be reached. EU Head of Mission, Filip Cornelis: “We are not here to determine who is right or wrong,” said EU Head of Mission, Filip Cornelis. “Our mission is to try to create assurances and confidence between the two parties, that will allow them to resume, as soon as possible, the flow of gas to Europe and the transit of Ukraine.” Much of Europe is shivering in the grip of winter. Bulgaria gets all its gas from Russia via the Ukraine pipeline, and has suffered most from interruption in supplies. The Czech mediation team says it will stay in the region until the row is resolved, but the chilly mood in Moscow matches the weather and suggests a breakthrough may be some way off.