Gas transit to EU 'not endangered' in Ukraine-Russia row
Gas supplies to Ukraine and the EU will not be endangered despite an announcement by Russia that it will cut the flow to Ukraine, a senior European official said Wednesday.
"Both gas deliveries to Ukraine and transit to the EU are not endangered," said Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission's vice-president for energy union.
Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Wednesday it was halting all natural gas supplies to Ukraine after Kiev announced the immediate suspension of Russian gas purchases late Tuesday.
That came after European Union-brokered talks on securing Russian gas supplies to Ukraine for at least three more months broke up in Vienna Tuesday without agreement.
Sefcovic cited "strong mechanisms of reverse flow" which would allow gas to be sent from the EU to Ukraine, and better preparations for such situations to support the statement that supplies were not endangered.
The dispute comes amid tense relations between Moscow and Kiev over the conflict in eastern Ukraine, in which Russia denies directly supporting separatist rebels.
Europe receives more than 40 percent of its gas from Russia via Ukraine.
© 2015 AFP