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Archive for Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Russia to restart gas pumps to Europe

January 13, 2009

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— Russia’s state gas monopoly has promised to resume shipping Europe-bound gas through Ukraine this morning, nearly a week after it shut off the taps and forced countless Europeans to huddle cold and resentful in freezing homes.

However, a spokesman for the Gazprom monopoly indicated lingering problems could still prolong the crisis.

More than 15 countries have been the inadvertent victims of a complex and acrimonious wrangle between Russia and Ukraine over gas prices, past debts and allegations of theft. They also jockeyed over an EU-brokered deal to send pipeline monitors to ensure that restored gas shipments reach their destination.

Russia balked at the deal after Ukraine tried to add a rider declaration that offended Moscow. Ukrainian government officials clarified the deal Monday and said the declaration was not legally binding.

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