You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Europe at risk of being cut off from Russia :Gazprom

AFP  |  Moscow 

Russia's gas giant Gazprom said today that there was still a risk that Europe could see a drop in supplies of Russian gas piped via Ukraine this winter.

"The transit risks in Ukraine remain this winter," Gazprom chief Alexei Miller was quoted as saying after meeting the new European Commissioner for Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic in Moscow.

Miller suggested that there could be a problem with Ukraine reducing transit supplies to Europe due to Kiev's problems with paying for enough gas for its own citizens to get through the winter.

Twice in the past decade Europe faced gas shortages during the peak winter heating season after Ukraine, which was locked in price disputes with Russia, allegedly took supplies destined for Europe from pipelines that cross its territory.

Gazprom said Miller was referring to the peak period of energy consumption at the end of January and in February.

"Ukraine, due to financial difficulties, was not able to buy the necessary volume of Russian gas in November and December last year and significantly depleted its reserves of gas in underground storage," Miller said.

Gazprom said for its part that it had met its obligations on supplies to Ukraine under a gas accord reached in November in Brussels but that Ukraine was not complying with its terms.

Ukraine's state gas company Naftogaz "is acquiring gas in lower volumes than in the Brussels accord," Gazprom complained.

Ukraine is taking gas out of its underground stores at a rapid rate, leaving supplies that are "not enough to reliably get through the winter period," Gazprom said in a statement.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned earlier Wednesday that Russia could demand rapid repayment of a USD 3.0 billion loan to Ukraine while the pro-Kremlin Viktor Yanukovych was still president in December 2013.

Russia agreed to give Ukraine a USD 15 billion loan but handed over only the first installment of USD 3.0 billion before Yanukovych was swept from power.

Medvedev, speaking at a business forum, complained that Ukraine in its budget had not made provision for paying the loan in its 2015 budget.

"Therefore we will have to take a decision on this matter in the near future," Medvedev said.

"We don't want Ukraine to default and for the already desperate position of the Ukraine economy to get worse," Medvedev said at a televised discussion on the economy.

"But debts need to be paid," he added.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, January 14 2015. 21:00 IST