Sunday, January 01, 2006

Gas War: Uncertainty

Exponential switch-off of Ukraine’s gas did not take place
01 January 2006, 09:09

[my tr.]

Early on January 1 Ukraine rejected Russia’s final proposal on the conditions of transit and deliveries of gas in 2006. At 9:00 am Kyiv time, Moscow announced on Russian television’s Channel One that Gazprom was beginning to shut off the gas to its Ukrainian partners; however, it did not arrange an exponential switch-off of gas to Ukraine, as it had threatened.

According to Channel One, the substation in Russia’s Kursk Region will soon begin a decrease in gas pressure in the pipes through which blue fuel is supplied directly to the Ukraine. According to Gazprom’s official representative Sergey Kupriyanov's the lowering of gas pressure at the entrance to the Ukrainian gas transport system has begun.

Russia’s main television channel reported that gas to European partners will continue to flow at full volume. However, as Ukrainian politicians have earlier stated, if the contract for 2006 is not agreed, all Russian gas on the territory of Ukraine will turn out to be contraband.

The Russian channels were planning to relay a live broadcast of the switching off of the gas valve at 9:00 am Kyiv time. However, this did not take place – Channel One showed only a some scenes of the station in the Kursk Region and reported the most recent details of the Ukraine-Russia gas dispute.

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