Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back on some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

France's Iliad reaches for T-Mobile

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is Poor Military Training Causing a Larger Death Toll in Gaza?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Villepin Criticises France for Not Speaking Out on Gaza

Read more

  • Live: Israeli soldier feared captured, ceasefire 'over'

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Dozens killed and injured in Taiwan gas blast

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9bn to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    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)