Ukraine Freezes as Russia Refuses to Deliver Gas
With freezing temperatures all over Ukraine, the govt on Friday called for measures to slash gas consumption after Russia refused to restart natural gas deliveries.
Owing to supply strains the govt urged schools to close and factories to cut production.
Russia was expected to resume gas supplies to Ukraine following a foreign court ruling that aimed to end years of disputes between Kiev and Moscow.
In the feud between countries Ukraine had halted two Russian supply lines to Europe through its mainland.
Now after court ruling that looked to thaw issues, Russia’s Gazprom gas giant unexpectedly refused to resume deliveries, returning the prepayment for supplies made by Kiev, claiming amendments to a contract had not been completed .
To last existing supplies, the energy minister Igor Naftogaz urged companies to adjust their operations while power companies were ordered to switch to fuel oil where possible.
He said Gazprom was trying to portray Ukraine in negative light and suggest that it was willing to freeze its own population or being a unreliable transit company that takes gas away from European countries.
Naftogaz also said, Ukraine has signed a contract with Poland’s PGNIG for urgent gas supplies to the end of the month.
Russia and Ukraine had disputes over gas prices and shipments, which had often been a proxy for political disputes between Moscow and Kiev.
The court set a price and ordered Kiev to resume purchases it cancelled after Russia annexed the Crimea from Ukraine.
A ruling by same court was designed to halt the ongoing feud but Russia now refuses to roll out supplies.