[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 October 2007, 06:25 GMT 07:25 UK
Gazprom may cut gas to Ukraine
Gazprom gas pipeline
Gazprom supplies Europe with a quarter of its gas
Russian gas monopoly Gazprom says it will cut gas supplies to neighbouring Ukraine unless a $1.3bn (650m) bill is paid this month.

Previous disputes between Russia and Ukraine over gas supplies have led to cuts in gas deliveries to Europe.

Gazprom said Ukraine had taken no action despite repeated requests and warned it would be forced to decrease deliveries if the debt was not settled.

The European Commission called for a "speedy solution" to the dispute.

Prices rise

State-controlled Gazprom said it had informed European clients.

Gazprom's threat comes two days after parliamentary elections in Ukraine. No clear winner has emerged as rival parties claim victory.

"Bearing in mind the approaching winter season and higher demand for gas, as well as the Ukrainian repeated failures to fulfil gas contracts, Gazprom will have to reduce gas deliveries to Ukrainian consumers if the debt is not settled in October," the company said.

In August, Gazprom said it would halve supplies to Belarus because of a $500m debt after Minsk failed to pay in full for previous shipments.

The Russian firm later postponed the deadline for Belarus to repay the debt after a first instalment was paid.

Like Belarus, Ukraine was forced to start paying more for its Russian gas in 2006, but not before Gazprom reduced its supplies, leading to a knock-on reduction in gas passing through the country to western Europe.

This dispute sparked concern within European Union nations about their energy security and the future reliably of Russian gas, which now accounts for much of European requirements.

Moscow denies accusations that it uses gas supplies to bully its neighbours.

Instead, it insists that price rises last year for Belarus, Ukraine and Georgia merely reflect the end of Soviet-era subsidies.



SEE ALSO
Gazprom delays Belarus gas threat
03 Aug 07 |  Business
Gazprom to cut Belarus supplies
01 Aug 07 |  Business
Gazprom bid to cut off China gas
19 Jun 07 |  Business
Gazprom's European dilemma
26 Mar 07 |  Business
Russia and Ukraine near gas deal
24 Oct 06 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific