Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israel and Hamas battle online over public opinion

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting (part 2)

Read more

  • Air Algerie ‘lost contact’ with flight leaving Burkina Faso

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • In pictures: Thousands march for Gaza peace in Paris

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • France charges Swiss bank UBS with tax fraud

    Read more

  • Israel faces heightened diplomatic pressure as Gaza violence rages

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Netherlands holds day of mourning for victims of flight MH17

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

Europe

Ukraine pipeline explosion a possible ‘act of terrorism’

© AFP (archive photo)

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-06-17

An explosion struck a pipeline carrying Russian natural gas via Ukraine to the European Union on Tuesday, an incident the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said it was treating as a possible “act of terrorism”.

The blast took place in Ukraine’s central Poltava region, hitting the main transit pipeline from Russia to the EU. The Ukrainian government said the explosion, which comes one day after Russia cut its gas supplies to Ukraine in an ongoing pricing and debt dispute, did not disrupt flows to the European Union.

Ukraine has been gripped by crisis for the past few months, with the government fighting pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east. Although the explosions happened far from the unrest, the government did not rule out the possibility of terrorism.

“Several theories of what happened are being considered including the key theory - an act of terrorism,” Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said. “According to local residents, they heard two big bangs just before the explosion which could indicate they were deliberate explosions.”

The Energy Ministry also suggested there may have been foul play, without speculating who might have been behind the blast.

“It is not the first attempted terrorist attack on the Ukrainian gas transportation system,” the ministry said in a statement, referring to two explosions on transit pipelines in the western part of the country in May.

Police in Poltava region said the blast was at 2:20pm (11:20am GMT), and hit the pipeline about two metres (six feet) below a field. There were no casualties.

Video footage showed smoke pouring high into the sky.

Ukrainian state-run gas transport monopoly Ukrtransgaz said there was no disruption to the gas flow and a source at Russian gas producer Gazprom said: “Exports have not been cut. There is a parallel pipeline.”

The emergency services said the blast was caused by the pipeline becoming depressurised, though it did not say what caused it to become depressurised.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-06-17

  • RUSSIA - UKRAINE

    ‘Possible disruption’ to Europe as Russia cuts Ukraine gas supply

    Read more

  • UKRAINE

    Ukrainian military plane shot down

    Read more

  • UKRAINE

    Russia did send tanks to Ukraine rebels, US says

    Read more

COMMENT(S)