Krassimir Ivandjiiski
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Russia-Ukraine gas row affects Europe


Russia's decision to reduce gas supplies to Ukraine has diminished the delivery of gas to some western European states, reports say.

Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom says it has reduced gas exports through Ukrainian pipelines by a fifth, accusing Kyiv of stealing the gas destined for Europe-- an allegation Ukraine dines.

Countries including Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Macedonia have reported a halt in gas deliveries via Ukraine. Austria has also reported a 10 percent fall in the expected Russian gas delivery.

Gazprom, the world's largest gas producer, halted its gas supply to Ukraine's domestic market on January 1 as part of a payment dispute. Ukraine owes Russia USD 1.67 billion for gas and USD 450 million in penalties for late payments in November and December.

Ukraine is the main transit route for Russian gas exports to the European Union member-states, which depend on Russia for around a quarter of their total gas supplies.

Boris Posyagin, head of Gazprom's dispatch department, said on Saturday that Russia increased natural gas supplies to Europe via Belarus and Turkey after halting shipments to Ukraine.



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