Gazprom `failure` in Ukraine gas row: Russian newspapers

10:33, 06 March 2008
1717 0

The crisis was "the first failure of Gazprom`s foreign policy"

Russian gas giant Gazprom suffered a "failure" when it was forced to restore gas supplies to Ukraine after a "threat" from Kiev to disrupt exports to Europe, Russian newspapers said on Thursday, according to AFP.

"Gazprom could not stand up to the threat... and restored supplies of gas to Ukraine without any conditions" amid an ongoing row over unpaid debts between Gazprom and Ukraine, the Kommersant daily said.

The crisis was "the first failure of Gazprom`s foreign policy," it added.

Russia cut gas supplies to Ukraine by 25 percent on Monday and by an additional 25 percent on Tuesday as part of a dispute over unpaid debts.

Ukraine`s oil and gas monopoly Naftogaz warned on Tuesday it could be forced to divert Russian gas earmarked for Europe transiting through its territory.

Russia restored gas supplies to Ukraine on Wednesday.

The Gazeta daily echoed Kommersant, saying: "Ukraine`s threat of reducing the transit of Russian gas through its territory proved efficient" because Gazprom was afraid the European Union would seek alternative sources of energy.

The European Union depends on Russian gas transiting through Ukraine for around a fifth of its supplies. Gazprom is equally dependent, with almost all of the company`s exports going to EU states.

Gazprom "gave in to a Ukrainian ultimatum," the RBK business daily said.


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