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Gazprom Says Kiev Should Blame Warsaw For Gas Supply Cut

No one disputes that the amount of Russian gas being piped through Ukraine has been cut by at least 20 percent. But who’s responsible?

Poland said Sept. 10 that the amount of gas coming from the Kremlin-run gas monopoly Gazprom was down by at least one-fifth, feeding a growing suspicion in much of Europe that Moscow is using energy as leverage in its continuing dispute with the West over its actions in Ukraine.

Poland’s state-controlled gas company PGNiG says gas deliveries from Gazprom through Ukraine and neighboring Belarus were down by 20 percent on Sept. 8 and by 24 percent on Sept. 9. It says it’s investigating the shortfall.

Meanwhile, Ukrtranzgaz, Ukraine’s pipeline monopoly, said Gazprom was reducing shipments to Poland to prevent “reverse flows” of gas, where Warsaw diverts 4 million cubic meters of gas daily headed for Western Europe southward to serve Ukrainian homes and businesses.

Uktransgaz CEO Igor Prokopiv said Russia is trying to “derail” this reverse-flow agreement. Ukraine is getting no gas directly from Russia in a dispute over outstanding debt for previous gas deliveries.

Gazprom says its flow of gas hasn’t changed and that if there is a reduction, it’s Poland’s fault, not Russia’s.

“Reports by news agencies on the reduction of volumes of gas supplies by Gazprom to Poland’s PGNiG are incorrect,” Gazprom spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov said, according to RT, quoting Itar-Tass. “The same volume of gas as in previous days – 23 million cubic meters a day – is being supplied to Poland now.”

No matter who is responsible for the reduction in the flow of gas, the consequences of the dispute go far beyond Poland and Ukraine. EU nations get one-third of their gas supplies from Russia, and half of that amount flows through Ukraine. Similar disputes led to interruptions in the supply of gas to Europe twice before, in 2006 and 2009.

Nevertheless, there was no evidence that the current shortage was affecting any Western European customers. Slovakia, a major transit point for Russia gas exports to Europe, said volumes had not changed, and operators in Hungary, Bosnia and Serbia said the same.

And in Austria, a spokesman for the energy company OMV told Reuters, “The supply situation in Austria is normal. Deliveries from our Russian partner come within the range of normal fluctuations.”

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com


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Leave a comment
  • Alex on September 12 2014 said:
    Kiev does not like to pay for the gas! It is normal and it is usual! It was the only reason for the gas flow interruption from Russia to Europe in 2009! Poland supports Kiev now. I can not understand why
    Poland does not send the gas to Ukraine. For free!
    Europe should pay to Ukraine for the friendship!
    Nothing doing!
    Look, if U.S. and Europe do not support the military
    coup in Kiev in February, 2014: 1) Russia would still supply Ukraine with the low priced gas; 2) Russia would give the credit to Ukraine for 18 bln USD, 3) Crimea would be Ukrainian now! 4) nobody in East of UKraine would wote for the independence; 5) there would not be the war; 6) MH017 would not be shoted down; 7) Europe would be exporting food to Russia; 8) there would not be the danger for the gas supply from Russia to Ukraine...
    But now Europe is in a big trouble!Not U.S.!
  • godfree roberts on September 12 2014 said:
    I'm with Gazprom on this one, by a simple process of elimination: Poland and Ukraine have proven themselves to be criminally insane.
  • WorkingClass on September 15 2014 said:
    "No one disputes that the amount of Russian gas being piped through Ukraine has been cut by at least 20 percent."

    "Gazprom says its flow of gas hasn’t changed"

    Which is it?

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