Ukrainian officials said Wednesday that Russia had cut off all gas supplies through pipelines crossing Ukrainian territory, the latest move in a devastating pricing dispute between the two neighbors that has already left a number of countries without gas.Why energy independence and diversity in energy sources are strategic imperatives.
Valentyn Zemlyansky, spokesman for state gas company Naftogaz, said Russia's gas giant Gazprom completely stopped sending gas to European consumers at 7:44 a.m. (0544 GMT). Eighty percent of Russian gas is shipped via Ukraine.
"Words fail us," Zemlyansky said of Gazprom's move.
Russia confirmed the cutoff but said it was Ukraine's fault because it had shut down the last pipeline carrying gas from Russia.
The Russia-Ukraine natural gas dispute has hit Europe with the force of a winter storm. It has affected at least a dozen nations. Tens of thousands of people were left without heat and governments scrambled to find alternative energy sources.
Before Wednesday, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Croatia, Serbia and Turkey had all reported a halt in gas shipments, while France, Germany, Austria, Poland and Hungary had reported substantial drops in supplies from Russia.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
The bear can't help himself - it is his nature.