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There is the chance for a new gas crisis, despite the fact that Ukraine paid May’s gas bill

Luni, 8 iunie 2009, 20:58 English | Regional Europe

The EU could face another gas crisis, despite the fact that Ukrainian company Naftogaz paid Russia the gas bill for May. Representatives of the Russian gas company Gazprom said it was very unlikely that the Ukrainians would be able to honour the June’s bill as well.

"They paid what they owed", meaning 657 million dollars, Gazprom spokesperson Serghei Kuprianov declared for AFP, Romanian press agency NewsIn informs. The Russian company say the risk of cutting the gas supply has not vanished and that the bill for June might see it happening.

Lately, Russia threatens to block the gas supply to Ukraine. This is the pipe that delivers gas to the EU. Russia has already cut the gas in January for about three weeks. 80% of the gas supply in Europe depends on the pipe transiting Ukraine.

Ukraine was late with paying the gas bill last week and Russia began threatening to close down the gas again. Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Europe might face a new gas crisis at the end of June if Ukraine does not pay the bills.

Russian company Gazprom asked EU, at the end of May, to help Ukraine’s finance, so that Ukraine could pay for the Russian gas and avoid another gas crisis in Europe. The EU did not rush to come up with the money. Instead, the EU state members will meet on June 18 and 19 to discuss this matter and the construction of Nabucco gas pipe, a project meant to reduce EU’s dependency on the Russian gas. An agreement on constructing Nabucco is expected to be signed in June.




















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