Europe faces the increasing threat of a disruption to gas supplies from its main provider Russia this winter due to the crisis in Ukraine, through which almost half of supplies flow.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday Kiev knew of Russian plans to halt gas flows this winter to Europe.
“The situation in (Ukraine’s) energy sector is difficult. We know of Russia’s plans to block (gas) transit even to European Union countries this winter, and that’s why their (EU’s) companies were given an order to pump gas into storage in Europe as fully as possible,” he told a government meeting, without disclosing how he knew about the Russian plans.
The warning came less than 24 hours after a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko as well as Europe’s main energy diplomat Guenther Oettinger, which included talks to secure Russian gas flows during the peak demand winter.