Frustration is growing in the European Union at the failure of Russia and Ukraine to solve their gas dispute which is badly affecting supplies to Europe.
The Russian and Ukrainian prime ministers plan to meet in Moscow on Saturday to discuss the matter. Kiev is refusing to pay the price demanded by Moscow, which wants a sharp rise despite a drop in global prices and a severe downturn in Ukraine’s economy. Moscow wants to bring the price Ukraine pays in line with European prices. The row has severely disrupted supplies to Europe that transit through Ukraine. Eastern states have been particularly hard hit, like Serbia, which imports 90 percent of its gas from Russia. On the streets of Belgrade, there was mixed reaction over who is to blame. “Everyone is responsible for the situation, but I think we will get some gas soon,” said one man. “We should have had other gas supplies so we wouldn’t be in this situation now.” “It is definitely not our fault,” said another. “We should get some sort of compensation for this. It’s all because of the world political situation.” The EU, which imports one fifth of its gas from Russia – most of which transits through Ukraine – has said it will send a delegation to the talks on Saturday.