Several European countries say gas levels have returned to normal following Russia’s promise to restore full deliveries to western customers.
Some states had experienced shortfalls after Russia cut its supply to Ukraine over a contractual dispute. “We’ve taken all necessary measures to ensure Europe receives gas in the full amount according to contracts,” said a senior executive of Gazprom, the state monopoly. About 80 percent of the gas that the Russian giant sells to European countries goes through pipelines in Ukraine. While there is relief in some parts of Europe Russia’s row with Ukraine rumbles on. Kiev has rejected Moscow’s claim that it was syphoning off gas destined for nations to the west. President Viktor Yushchenko said Ukraine was providing enough of its own gas to ensure other states were not affected. The dispute has political overtones with Ukraine implying it has been punished for its pro-western policies. Neighbouring Moldova, which is also western-leaning, has said its gas supply has been severaly affected by the disagreement.