Gas supplies to Europe have been totally restored. That is the reassurance from the Russian monopoly Gazprom today, although the row that triggered a crisis between Moscow and Kiev is far from over.
Gazprom says supplies to Ukraine remain cut off over its refusal to agree to a more than four-fold increase in gas prices. The company has also accused Kiev of continuing to siphon off supplies intended for European customers. Moscow bowed to pressure from the West and increased the amount of gas it pumps through the Ukraine, to make sure its main clients in Europe are not affected by the dispute. Russia has called on the EU to put pressure on Ukraine to guarantee the supply of gas to Europe. This as Gazprom and Ukrainian gas officials say they will meet later today. Earlier Washington warned Moscow against using energy as a political tool, and the European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana urged Ukraine and Russia to resume negotiations. Kiev has denied siphoning off Russian supplies, but earlier said it would do so if temperatures fell below freezing.