Ukraine has been cut off from Russia’s natural gas supplies after failing to come to an agreement over payments
Russia on Monday cut gas supplies to Ukraine as a payment deadline passed and negotiators failed to reach a deal on gas prices and unpaid bills amid continued fighting in eastern Ukraine.
The decision does not immediately affect the gas flow to Europe, but could disrupt the long-term energy supply to the region if the issue is not resolved, analysts said.
Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said that since Ukraine had paid nothing for the gas by Monday, from now on the company would demand that Ukraine pay in advance for any future deliveries.
“Gazprom supplies to Ukraine only the amount that has been paid for, and the amount that has been paid for is zero,” Kupriyanov said Monday morning.
Ukraine’s Naftogaz company head Andriy Kobolev said Russia had cut the supply of gas to Ukraine. He added that Ukraine can manage without Russian gas until December.
The pipeline to Ukraine also carries gas meant for Europe, but Kupriyanov said that the supply to Europe will continue as planned. Ukraine has the obligation to make sure the gas will reach European customers, he said.
However, Gazprom has notified the European Commission of “a possible disruption in the gas transit” in case Ukraine decides to siphon off the gas, the company said.