Wed, Jan 21, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Russian gas flowing into Ukraine again

AP , PISAREVKA, RUSSIA

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshchenko, seated left, and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, seated right, prepare to sign a gas accord in Moscow on Monday.

PHOTO: AFP

Russian natural gas began flowing into Ukraine yesterday after a nearly two-week cutoff that left large parts of Europe cold and dark and underscored the continent’s dependence on Russia’s energy.

Russia’s Gazprom began pumping gas into Ukraine at around 10:30am Moscow time, spokesman Boris Sapozhnikov said by telephone from the metering station in Sudzha near the border with Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Naftogaz state gas company confirmed gas was being received. Naftogaz said it could take up to 36 hours for the gas to cross Ukraine to other European customers.

Russia halted the supplies on Jan. 7 as it argued with Ukraine over gas prices and allegations that Ukraine was stealing gas.

More than 15 nations in the Balkans and Eastern Europe were left scrambling for alternative energy sources, with millions of people shivering in unheated homes.

Late Monday, the two countries resolved their dispute, with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko signing a deal brokered by heads of Gazprom and Ukraine’s Naftogaz.

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