Ukraine: Russia has cut gas shipped to Europe below contract levels
Russia has reduced the volume of natural gas shipments being transported to Europe below levels it was contracted to provide, a senior Ukrainian government official said Wednesday, DPA reported.
The volume of Russian fuel pumped into Ukraine's natural gas transportation system has fallen to 450 million cubic metres a day, well below the 510 million cubic metres as stipulated by contract, said Ukrainian Energy Ministry Yury Boiko, according to an Interfax news agency report.
Officials at Gazprom, Russia's main natural gas exporter, on Saturday said the company would be forced to reduce gas shipped to Europe moderately because of severe cold in the country and increased domestic consumption.
Russian and Ukrainian Energy Ministry officials are in talks on a possible increase in gas deliveries to Europe drawn from Ukrainian reserves, Boiko said.
Ukraine has already provided some assistance to Gazprom customers by selling Turkey, one of the countries hit by reduced natural gas supply from Russia, some 11 million cubic metres of Ukrainian gas a day when cold weather struck the region, Boiko said.
Spot shortages of Russian gas deliveries have been reported in recent weeks in Poland, Austria and Germany.
Russia provides European consumers with approximately one-quarter of their natural gas needs, with the bulk of the fuel arriving to market via pipelines crossing Ukraine.
Russian natural gas deliveries to European consumers via Ukraine have come to a full stop twice, in 2006 and 2009, in both cases because of pricing disputes between Kiev and Moscow, and allegations Ukrainian companies were siphoning gas meant for Europe.
All Russian gas currently consumed in Ukraine is within contracted limits, Boiko said.