Ukraine warns of 'gas war' as Russia cuts supplies

( AFP )- Russia on Monday sharply reduced gas supplies to neighbouring Ukraine in a debt dispute, prompting Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to warn of a possible new "gas war" with Moscow.

The European Union, which relies heavily on Russian natural gas piped through Ukraine, urged the two sides to find an agreement in a row reminiscent of a 2006 stand-off that led to disruptions in EU gas supplies.

Russian state-run gas monopoly Gazprom said it was forced to cut gas supplies by 25 percent after Ukraine failed to pay a 600-million dollar (395-million euro) debt, and that EU supplies would not be affected.

The dispute came as officials announced that Dmitry Medvedev, chairman of Gazprom and a defender of the company's hardball negotiating tactics, had won Russia's presidential election on Sunday with a huge majority.

Ukrainian state oil and gas monopoly Naftogaz meanwhile promised not to divert gas bound for Europe to make up for the shortfall and said it would instead make use of gas from underground reserves.

Naftogaz spokesman Valentin Zemlyansky told AFP Ukraine's reserves were enough to last a month and added that a Ukrainian delegation would again visit Moscow to try to resolve the dispute.

Ukrainian politicians meanwhile accused Russia of putting undue pressure on Kiev's pro-Western leadership, which has sought to wrest Ukraine from Moscow's sphere of influence by pressing for NATO and EU membership.

At a meeting in Kiev, Yushchenko told Ukraine's Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko of the need for "dynamic negotiations" with Gazprom that would avoid "the provocation of a gas war" with Russia, the president's office said.

In a statement released shortly after a Monday morning deadline expired, Gazprom said it had reduced gas supplies to Ukrainian consumers by 25 percent "to ensure its economic interests."

Gazprom said it remained open to further talks, adding: "Deliveries to European consumers are continuing and will continue at full capacity."

A Naftogaz spokeswoman later said Gazprom had warned Ukrainian authorities that supplies would be reduced by a total of 35 percent. Gazprom officials could not be reached to confirm this further reduction.

Monday's cut comes despite a February 12 announcement by Yushchenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin that the debt dispute had been resolved after talks in the Kremlin.

The two presidents discussed that agreement and the current problem in a telephone conversation initiated by Kiev Monday, Interfax news agency reported.

Russian natural gas accounts for around a quarter of Ukraine's gas imports, with the rest coming from former Soviet republics in Central Asia via pipelines that go through Russia.

The European Union also relies on Russia for a quarter of its gas imports.

Pro-Western Ukrainian politicians said the current dispute with Russia had nothing to do with business and was part of a wider political struggle between the two ex-Soviet neighbours.

"The game of ultimatums for Ukraine continues," Ivan Kirilenko, head of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc in Ukraine's parliament, told Interfax news agency.

Vyacheslav Kirilenko, head of the parliamentary fraction of Yushchenko's Our Ukraine, told Interfax: "This is simply pressure on Ukraine."

Russian officials have defended Gazprom saying it is acting according to market principles in purely business-related disputes. Medvedev last month said Russia's gas was not "a freebie that comes in pretty plastic pipes."

Export of grain and legumes by Turkey to Iran down
Export of grain and legumes by Turkey to Iran down
Turkey registers nearly 30,000 new coronavirus cases as recoveries surpass 390,000
Turkey registers nearly 30,000 new coronavirus cases as recoveries surpass 390,000
Erdoğan urges public caution against COVID-19 in Turkey amid violations
Erdoğan urges public caution against COVID-19 in Turkey amid violations
Loading Bars
Georgian Poti FIZ plans to implement production of high-tech electrical devices in 2021
Chinese mainland reports 6 new imported COVID-19 cases
British, Irish prime ministers discuss EU trade negotiations
Kazakhstan increases exports to Georgia multifold despite COVID-19
76 more coronavirus patients die in Moscow in past day
OPEC+ monitoring committee postpones meeting on oil production cuts deal in 2021 to Sunday
Brexit goes down to the wire: EU and UK say big differences remain
Iran expected to reduce potato production
Azerbaijan national team won silver and bronze medals at 36th European Championship in Ukraine
Diesel fuel production down in Azerbaijan
Кazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company opens tender to buy batteries
Export of grain and legumes by Turkey to Iran down
Turkey registers nearly 30,000 new coronavirus cases as recoveries surpass 390,000
Kazakhstan has high hopes for homegrown COVID-19 vaccine - Minister
Georgia expect stabilization of pandemic with the expansion of restrictions
Iraq reports 2,545 new COVID-19 cases, 547,215 in total
Resolution adopted by French Senate is gross violation of int'l law - Honorary Member of French Parliament
Erdoğan urges public caution against COVID-19 in Turkey amid violations
76 Iranian professors among world top 2% scientists
Monetary policy in Georgia remains tightest among CIS - Renaissance Capital
Representatives of Kyrgyzstan take part in XVIII meeting of CSTO ICMEC
Britain records 16,022 new coronavirus cases, 521 new deaths
Azerbaijani gymnasts reach finals of 36th European Championship in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Ukraine
Turkish political parties condemn French Senate’s resolution on Karabakh
World Maritime University, Georgia aim to develop maritime education, capacity-building activities
Georgia makes giant strides in transposition of energy efficiency acquis
Cash receipts from Azerbaijan to Georgia increases
Number of debit cards in Azerbaijan increases
Uzbekistan increases raisins export to Netherlands
Georgia to subsidize wheat flour price
IAEA to implement multiple projects in Georgia
Uzbekistan, Hungary consider establishing Uzbek-Hungarian Business Council
Uzbekistan confirms repayment schedules on ADB loan for solid waste cleaning
Percentage of problem loans in Azerbaijan down
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd opens tender for vehicles provision
Tree-planting campaign continues in Azerbaijan's Gubadli (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan raises commercial gas production
COVID-related quarantine may be strengthened in Kazakhstan in December
German Bundestag welcoming cessation of hostilities in Karabakh for sustainable peace
Spain names main Turkmen sectors of its interest
Iran to follow FATF-related bills
French Development Agency puts emphasis on increasing solar and wind capacity integration in Georgia
Putin to hold annual press conference via video link on December 17
Share of Austria in total import of Azerbaijan increases
Kazakhstan, Canada discuss prospects for agriculture co-op
Iranian Aras Free Trade Zone reveals its trade surplus
Modernization of primary gas treatment unit carried out at Uzbek oil field
Ambassador of Mexico meets with Azerbaijani Acting Minister of Culture
Azerbaijan supplying drinking water to liberated Shusha city (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan consistently works to strengthen regional cooperation - MFA
Azerbaijan's import of chemical products from Turkey up
Conflicts, external aggression threaten peace, security - Azerbaijani FM (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Minister of Economy receives Qatari ambassador (PHOTO)
Iran's industrial cities work at minimum capacity
U.S. agency opens probe into 115,000 Tesla vehicles over suspension issue
Turkey discloses Istanbul Airport's ten-month passenger traffic volume
Japan ruling party proposal backs assistance for COVID-hit airlines
Iran's Social Security Organization to forgive insurance fines of employers
Elbit Systems wins Spanish Army radio deal
Putin meets RSC members to discuss Russian peacekeepers' activities in Karabakh
Uzbek metallurgical plant switches to int’l financial reporting standards
New company established in Azerbaijan's Sumgayit city
Iran to close public offices amid COVID-19
Volume of industrial lending in Azerbaijan grows
Azerbaijani 'Maestro Niyazi' dry-cargo ship repaired and tested
France-24 TV channel broadcasts reportage about liberated Fuzuli district of Azerbaijan (VIDEO)
Small state enterprises, vehicles to be auctioned in Azerbaijan
Uzbek Ministry of Finance eyes setting excise tax on sugar imports
New electronic services to be introduced in Turkmenistan's banking system
Oil bitumen imports decrease to Georgia
10M2020 cargo, passenger traffic in Turkish Esenboga Airport drops
Discovery of Turkmen scientists expected to make unique contribution to healthcare system on global scale
Azerbaijan detects 3,712 new COVID-19 cases, 1,359 recoveries
World to need at least 1.1 trillion barrels of hydrocarbons over next 20 years
Kazakhstan decreases crude petroleum oil supplies to Netherlands
Number of construction enterprises, organizations in Uzbekistan up
Central Bank of Azerbaijan reveals data on population's deposits
Georgia sees decrease in import of aviation fuel
Oil & gas industry is not at risk of being starved of capital
Nearly half of bank deposits in Azerbaijan made in foreign currency, says CBA
Turkmen Health Ministry opens tender for medical supplies purchase
Iran Parliament speaker obliges gov't to implement “People's Livelihood Protection Act” as soon as possible
Luxury hotels to be created in Nagorno-Karabakh region
Azerenerji OJSC implementing essential project in Karabakh, adjacent districts
Gold, silver prices in Azerbaijan down
Kazakhstan's Kazatomprom sees threefold increase in profits
Turkey's VP talks current defense-related projects
Iran to join several countries in coronavirus vaccine development
Cybersecurity - one of main objectives of Georgia - Energy Community Secretariat report
UNDP office in Uzbekistan to buy agricultural equipment via tender
Central Bank of Azerbaijan plans to raise funds at deposit auction
Azerbaijan's Central Bank reveals year-on-year data on lending to household sector
Facebook cryptocurrency Libra to launch as early as January but scaled back
“Investment Treaty” intensively negotiated between Georgia and Japan
ACG oil transshipment from Ceyhan terminal exceeds 190 million barrels
Turkmenistan prepares project for intellectual property system dev’t
Prime Minister Modi inaugurates RE-Invest 2020
TAP is operational and can deliver gas, says managing director
Uzbek Anti-Crisis Fund expenses up due to extended COVID-9 resistance
Ruling coalition in Germany stands for Berlin’s participation in promoting peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
All news