Ukraine gets gas from Europe after Russia cutoff, volumes plummet

KIEV Thu Aug 7, 2014 7:59am EDT

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KIEV Aug 7 (Reuters) - Ukraine imported gas from Poland and Hungary in July after Russia cut off supplies, and the volume amounted to about a tenth of its imports a year ago, according to domestic gas transport monopoly Ukrtransgaz on Thursday.

Gas imports totalled 221 million cubic meters last month - 118 million from Poland and 103 million from Hungary - against around 2 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Russia, which supplied half of Ukraine's gas needs in 2013, halted gas exports to Ukraine on June 16, citing price disagreements and Kiev's outstanding debt for earlier deliveries.

On top of the Russian cut-off, "the current volume of gas imports from Europe is much lower than we expected" and has still had not recovered so far this month, an industry source said.

Ukraine's Energy Minister Yuri Prodan last month blamed Russia's Gazprom of obstructing Ukrainian imports from European countries.

He said Ukraine first noticed a decline in deliveries from Europe in mid-July and that reverse supplies were running at 7 million cubic metres (mcm) a day versus a possible 18 million.

That compares with supplies of 16 mcm per day via reversed flows from the EU in June, including 12 mcm from Hungary, according to Ukraine's state energy company Naftogaz. (Reporting By Pavel Polityuk; editing by Jane Baird)

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