Russia Halts All Gas to Europe Via Ukraine

Last pipeline shut as shortages spread as far as France
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 7, 2009 6:01 AM CST
Pipelines are seen near an oil and gas refinery in Brazi, Romania, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009. An official of Transgaz gas said Gazprom ceased pumping gas into the pipeline in Romania at 3am Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
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(Newser) – Having slowed to a trickle yesterday, Russia today shut off all its gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine, the latest move in a pricing dispute that has affected fuel deliveries to a dozen countries during a winter cold snap. Gazprom, the Russian state gas company, blamed Ukraine for shutting down the pipeline. But a spokesperson for Ukraine told the AP that "it was the Russian side's decision to stop all gas deliveries to Europe."

This morning Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, and Turkey had all reported a halt in gas shipments, while countries as far west as France had reported substantial drops in supplies from Russia. About 80% of Russian gas to Europe is shipped via Ukraine. The cutoff comes on Orthodox Christmas, celebrated in Russia, Ukraine and a number of other Orthodox Christian countries in Europe.