A further push to resolve the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute is expected with several top level meetings scheduled within the next 48 hours.
With much of Europe freezing due to the cut in supplies, it is also hoped the intervention of an energy consortium can get the pipe lines pumping again. Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko has continued to canvass support for his country in the row which is overtly over how much Kiev should pay Moscow for gas. But EU countries just want the fuel, which transits Ukraine, to flow while they sort it out. The presidents from five eastern European countries, those worst affected, are to meet in Kiev to try to find a solution despite Gazprom – the Russian state monopoly -continuing to accuse Ukraine of blocking the pipes. Talks are to be held tomorrow between the two sides in Moscow, but in the meantime Paolo Scaroni, chief executive of Italian energy giant Eni has promised that an energy consortium will provide gas necessary for technical reasons to get the pumping stations working.