Energy giant Gazprom has reassured western Europe amid fears it could suffer supply cuts as a result of a gas dispute involving Russia and Ukraine. Last-ditch talks between the Russian state-owned firm and gas executives from Kiev are aimed at resolving the fourth such row in as many years. Moscow is threatening to turn off the tap to Ukraine over unpaid debts.
After a board meeting today, a statement said Gazprom would fulfil its commitments to European gas consumers, who receive Russian gas via Ukraine. However, the company has previously warned the West it fears Ukraine could, as it puts it, siphon off gas from transit pipelines. In 2006, a cut in supplies to Ukraine had a knock-on effect on Europe, which receives a quarter of its gas needs from Russia.