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Ukraine halts gas import from Russia

Staff writer |
Ukraine stopped importing Russian gas last Friday over a pricing dispute, but the flow to Europe was unaffected, officials said.

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The stoppage comes two weeks before Kyiv is due to sign an association agreement with the European Union, which has angered Moscow. "There have been no supplies to Naftogaz since Friday," an industry source told Reuters.

Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Boyko announced that Ukraine planned to reduce Russian gas purchases. Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has said that if Gazprom refuses to revise its contract, Ukraine would stop importing gas from Russia.

Ukraine, which pays around $400 per 1,000 cubic metres of Russian gas, one of the highest prices in Europe, has asked Moscow to ease terms it considers excessive and unaffordable for its debt-strapped economy. Meanwhile the country has been steadily reducing its Russian gas intake.

Last month, Gazprom said Ukraine had failed to pay for August deliveries in full. The dispute has raised concerns of a new gas war over prices between the two countries.cold (see background).

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