Ukrainian PM blames gas holdup on weak pressure: EU presidency

18:44, 13 January 2009
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Czech Prime Minister Topolanek contacted Tymoshenko

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has blamed the failure of Russian gas supplies to Europe on weak pressure, the Czech EU presidency said Tuesday, AFP reported.

The Czech EU presidency said that Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek had contacted Tymoshenko by phone to get an explanation for what was delaying the resumption of Russian gas shipments to Europe through Ukrainian pipelines.

"The Ukrainian prime minister informed Mirek Topolanek about some technical difficulties -- more specifically the pressure of gas arriving from the Russian Federation being too low," the presidency said in a statement.

It added that Tymoshenko had "promised to act" on a recommendation from Topolanek that Ukrainian authorities seek assistance from European gas experts "immediately."

Earlier a spokesman for Ukraine`s state gas company Naftogaz said that Kiev had blocked the transit of gas to Europe because of "unacceptable transit conditions" imposed by Russian energy giant Gazprom.

The flow of Russian gas for Europe was halted again on Tuesday only a few hours after a truce had been announced in the bitter conflict between Moscow and Kiev that has deprived EU countries of supplies in the dead of winter.

AFP via EU Business

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