Saturday, January 03, 2009

Ukraine siphons Russian gas shipment

We sure live in interesting times!

From The Washington Times:
Ukraine has siphoned some of Russia's natural gas shipments to the Balkans, the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom said late Friday – a day after it cut supplies to Ukraine in a contract dispute.

But Ukraine's Naftogaz company said it was only using some of the gas Russia pumps through the country to keep its pipeline system operating, and that it should not be blamed for the supply reductions to the Balkans. Naftogaz said it was Gazprom's duty to ship this so-called "technical" gas.

Naftogaz uses the same pipeline system to serve both domestic and transit gas customers.

Gazprom Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev urged Ukraine to comply with agreements to maintain shipments, saying Balkan countries were "suffering" from a reduction in supplies.

Romania marked a 30-40 percent drop in Russian supplies Friday evening, the country's Transgaz transport company said, according to Realitatea TV.

Poland saw a 6 percent decrease in the gas flow from Ukraine, according to the Polish gas monopoly PGNiG and pipeline operator OGP Gaz-System.

Customers in both Poland and Romania have not been affected, however. Transgaz' managing director Ioan Rusu told Realitatea TV that Romania had two days worth of supplies to meet customer needs. And the Polish gas interests said the country was making up the 6 percent deficit with supplies from another receiving point on the border with Belarus.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials were visiting European capitals Friday to argue their case in the dispute with Russia. They also were reassuring neighbors that Kiev would not interrupt gas supplies, according to Bohdan Sokolovsky, energy adviser to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.
I tend to side with the Ukraine against Russia because of their consitent use of Their gas pipeline to intimidate Europe, but we will have to wait and see.

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