Update: Gas through Ukraine halted hours after resuming
Although this morning Russia restarted gas flows through Ukraine this morning, it now appears that the flow has been interupted somewhere in the Ukraine. Russia is blaming Ukraine, and Ukraine is blaming Russia.
And so millions of people in the Balkans are still without heat as the diplomatic row between Russia and Ukraine continues. The EU had brokered a deal between the two countries to resume gas flow with monitors present to ensure that Ukraine is not siphoning off gas, which Russia has accused it of doing. New EU member Bulgaria has been badly hurt by the crisis.
Ukrainian state energy firm Naftogaz said on Tuesday reliable transit of Russian gas to Europe is being complicated by a number of factors including volumes of gas being sent and routes chosen.
"Naftogaz demands the speedy renewal of balanced gas supplies through all transit pipelines," it said in a statement.
"Naftogaz states that the volumes and direction were not agreed on in time between the two operators ... This seriously violates the established practice of reliable functioning of the gas transit system."
Russia's state gas monopoly resumed pumping supplies to Europe via Ukraine Tuesday after a six-day cutoff that left large parts of Europe cold and dark.
Gazprom turned on the taps after 10 a.m. Moscow times (0700 GMT), Gazprom spokesman Boris Sapozhnikov said by telephone from Sudzha gas metering station on the border with Ukraine.
European Union officials said it would take at least a day for gas to reach consumers in Europe after gas was first pumped into Ukraine.
Russia has accused Ukraine of stealing gas intended for Europe and only restarted supplies after a EU-led monitoring mission was deployed to gas metering and compressor stations across Ukrainian territory. The observer mission includes EU, Russian and Ukrainian officials and representatives of European energy companies.