Gazprom, Kiev confirm resumption of gas flow
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Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom said it had resumed gas deliveries to Ukraine and Europe starting at 10:05am Moscow time (07:05am GMT) on Tuesday, a claim confirmed by Ukrainian pipeline operator Ukrtransgaz.
REUTERS - Russian natural gas has started flowing into Ukraine on the way to Europe, Russian gas firm Gazprom said on Tuesday, two weeks after a contract row cut supplies to European countries in mid-winter.
The order to start pumping gas again followed the signing of a 10-year gas contract between Moscow and Kiev and late-night talks between Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and Gazprom, Russia’s gas export monopoly.
“Today at 10:05 (0705 GMT) Ukraine started taking Russian gas through Sudzha (compressor station in western Russia),” Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said.
“Now we are building up the volumes of deliveries on all routes to reach normal operation.”
A spokeswoman for UkrTransGaz, a unit of Ukrainian state energy firm Naftogaz, confirmed Russian gas had started flowing into the Ukrainian pipeline network for transit to customers in Europe.
Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller had said earlier that under the new contract Ukraine would pay $360 per 1,000 cubic metres of gas in the first quarter of this year, a sharp rise on the $179.5 that Kiev was paying for Russian gas last year.
Officials have said it would take 36 hours after the restart for the pipeline system to become operational again and for gas to reach Europe, parts of which have had to ration supplies to households and businesses because of the dispute.
Austrian oil and gas group OMV said Russian gas could arrive at its hub in Baumgarten, in the east of the country, on Wednesday.
“OMV is in touch with Gazprom and the network operators and is prepared for the start of supplies,” the company said in a statement.
The European Union, which tried with growing frustration over the past two weeks to broker a deal, said it would not consider the crisis over until its monitors verified that gas had reached the bloc.
Russia provides about a quarter of Europe’s gas requirements and pumps 80 percent of this via Ukraine.
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