Russia, Ukraine Settle Gas Flap

Agreement reached; export flow to Europe not in danger
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2008 2:24 PM CST
Ukraine's state gas monopoly Naftogaz spokesman Valentyn Zemlyansky talks to media in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, March 4, 2008. Ukraine's natural gas company threatened to begin diverting gas supplies...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Ukraine and Russia announced today that their natural-gas companies had settled the dispute that had caused Russia to cut gas supply to Ukraine by 50%—and spurred worries that the flow of gas to Western Europe would be disrupted, the AP reports. "The restrictions on deliveries for Ukrainian consumers have been lifted," reads a joint statement from Gazprom and Naftogaz.

Both parties hailed "an agreement on the resolution of the crisis situation," and noted that the transport of Russian gas across Europe would continue uninterrupted. Gazprom exports 20% of its gas to Western Europe through Ukraine, whose officials had said they might divert export-bound gas for internal use if Gazprom sustained supply cuts; relations between the neighbors remain strained, however.