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Putin Cuts Natural Gas Supplies To Europe

From the Agence France-Pressee:

Halt in Russian gas supplies to Europe deepens crisis

by Anna Smolchenko Anna Smolchenko – Wed Jan 7

KIEV (AFP) – All deliveries of Russian gas through Ukraine were halted on Wednesday, intensifying a bitter dispute between Moscow and Kiev which risks depriving Europeans of gas amid freezing weather.

In a new twist, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told state-run energy giant Gazprom on Wednesday to cease all deliveries of natural gas into Ukraine.

At least eleven European states as far west as Austria have reported complete halts of Russian gas supplies during a snap of freezing temperatures of almost minus 25 degrees Celsius (minus 13 Fahrenheit).

Romania declared a state of emergency while 70,000 households in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo spent the night without heating. Bulgaria asked its public to cut back on gas usage and turned off heating on all public transport in Sofia…

In Prague, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, whose country holds the EU’s presidency, promised a "stronger intervention" from the EU if supplies were not restored by Thursday…

"Russia stopped all transit through Ukraine" at 7:44 am (0544 GMT), the spokesman for Ukraine’s state gas company Naftogaz, Valentin Zemlyansky, told AFP. "Russia has left Europe without gas," he added…

Russia, the world’s biggest natural gas producer, provides about one-quarter of the gas used in the EU. Some 80 percent of Russia’s gas exports to the EU pass though Ukraine.

Russia cut gas supplies to Ukraine on January 1 in a dispute with the country’s pro-Western leaders over late payments and new gas prices for 2009…

Austria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia all announced Wednesday that all their supplies of Russian gas had been cut off overnight with Slovakia declaring an energy emergency.

Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary and Macedonia had already said their deliveries had been cut…

"The only solution for Bulgaria is the resumption of deliveries. There is only one gas pipe entering the country and that is via Ukraine," said Economy and Energy Minister Petar Dimitrov.

France, Germany, Italy and Serbia all reported drastic falls in Russian gas supplies.

Poland and Turkey said that supplies of Russian gas passing through Ukraine had been completely cut but that they were getting increased amounts through separate pipelines.

The disruption coincides with the advance of an exceptionally cold front across much of central and western Europe. Many countries in Eastern and Central Europe depend on gas for central heating…

Imagine the unbridled joy that the environmentalists and the other anti-capitalists must be experiencing watching Europe being held hostage by a KGB thug.

It couldn’t be better if they had planned it that way.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

14 Responses to “Putin Cuts Natural Gas Supplies To Europe”

  1. nicotusc15 says:

    When are they gonna quit complaining? It’s not like they cut it off completely. The gauge in the picture says “.5”!

  2. Confucius says:

    Russia is cutting off Europe at the same time Chavez is cutting off America. I wonder if the State Department has figured it out yet.

  3. Richardovich says:

    Blame Ukraine. They have been stealing gas from the pipeline for years now. The amount of the reduction is equal to the amount Ukraine has been stealing. If Ukraine pays or stops stealing, the problem is solved.

  4. proreason says:

    All this silly stuff will stop when the global love begins Jan 20, 2009.

    Obamy is the smartest person ever to be President you know. He will give Putin a stern lecture about this.

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    Thats it……..we withhold our decadent Rock&Roll, underarm deodorant, Levis, Playboys and Jack Daniels!!

  6. GuppyNblue says:

    BTW – It’s Christmas (Orthodox) in Ukraine and Russia today. The timing was probably intentional.

    Putin’s been blackmailing Europe and Eurasia with this for some years now. Member states in the EU can’t agree on how to deal with this and Putin takes advantage of that. He makes bilateral agreements with individual states which prevent the building of new pipelines.

    Russia’s Gazprom is the largest energy company in the world and Putin’s strong arm tactics have made that possible too. For example: In 2006 Russia sited environmental concerns to threaten Shell with the closure of its natural gas operations on Sakhalin island. But after Shell agreed to sell a large controlling share of the project to Gazprom, the environmental charges were dropped.

    This is a very serious situation because they don’t have alternatives and that’s just way Putin wants it. If you’re interested in a little history on the matter, check out this link. It’s a 15pg. pdf but reads quickly. It’s written in Washington Quarterly by Zeyno Baran, senior fellow and director of the Center for Eurasian Policy at the Hudson Institute.

  7. Barbie says:

    From what I’ve read, Putin is getting ready to invade the Ukraine and reclaim it and its seaport. Ukraine has reserves for up to two weeks. About the time the reserves run out is about the time Obambi becomes Prez. This is a test of America’s new weakness as expressed in the figure of Obambi the pacifist and how he will react to Putin’s thuggery… Oh, but I’m sure Putin will comply with the EU.

    • GuppyNblue says:

      Ukraine also has the largest army in Europe – next to Russia’s. They won’t be pushovers like western Europeans.

    • Barbie says:

      Well, since they’re the monopoly of the only energy source around, and it’s pretty darn cold out, it might not be a typical physical invasion – could be energy blackmail… The U.S. needs to become energy independent so we’re never beholden to others. People think it cannot happen here, but it can.

  8. Helena says:

    So ironic, isn’t it, that Putin is building nuclear “power plants” in Iran. I wonder if he will offer the nuclear power option to Bulgaria and the Ukraine.

  9. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    Once a commie bastard, always a commie bastard. Putin and his like have never forsaken their old Stalinist ways. And yes, the U.S. could very easily be blackmailed/extorted from another country through the with holding of much needed energy resources. Hopefully Obama and his cronies will figure this out ahead of time.

  10. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    LD, I was being facetious. But I like your biting wit. By the way, what nuclear stockpile are you speaking of? Why dontcha’ know that Obama and his resurrected Clintonistas have already sacrificed it upon the altar of peace and understanding. Idiots. It would serve them well to remember the words of Teddy Roosevelt, ‘To speak softly but carry a big stick.’ But then again the males in our society, especially in politics have become so emasculated that the thought of force even in defense is abhorrent to them.

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