A deal to restore Russian gas supplies via Ukraine to Europe appears to be on the verge of collapse after Moscow rejected handwritten “amendments” to the new contract by officials in Kiev.
The row came as EU monitors began arriving at pumping stations to check gas flows to Europe. A Russian official in Brussels revealed signed documents, with additions not agreed by the Russian negotiating team. The Kremlin fears Ukraine is trying to wriggle out of paying for gas allegedly siphoned off from Europe’s supply. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is appealing to EU leaders to exert influence on Kiev to withdraw the new conditions. “I cannot call such stipulations and additions anything other than a mockery of common sense and a violation of earlier achieved agreements,” he said. But the latest heated row may yet fizzle out. The EU Commission and the Ukrainian government are in agreement that the so-called amendments are non-binding.