An “unacceptable and incredible” crisis is how the European Commission’s President has described the ongoing wrangle between Russia and Ukraine over gas supplies.
Moscow says it began pumping gas meant for Europe yesterday but Kiev claims the taps have not been turned on. Whatever the truth, the EC president is threatening legal action. “I would like to convey a very clear message to Moscow and Kiev,” he said. If the agreement sponsored by the EU is not honoured as a matter of urgency, the Commission will advise EU companies to take this matter to the courts, and call on member states to engage in a concerted action to find alternatives ways of energy supply and transit,” he added. The crisis has hit 18 countries, shutting down factories and leaving hundreds of thousands of people to face winter’s freezing temperatures. Time is fast running out for many of the countries affected, some of which only have days of supplies left.