January 15, 2009 / 12:53 PM / 10 years ago

CORRECTED - UPDATE 1-Russia no longer reliable gas supplier-IEA

(Corrects quote in third graph to “casts a very dark shadow” from “cuts off its status”)

MADRID, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Russia has lost its status as a reliable gas supplier to Europe after European Union states were cut off for days from Russian gas, the International Energy Agency (IEA), said on Thursday.

The agency advises top industrialised countries on energy policy.

“With this move Russia casts a very dark shadow on being a reliable gas supplier to Europe,” IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol told a conference in Madrid.

“The Russia-Ukrainian gas crisis is another wake up call to EU countries to restructure their energy policies.”

An EU-brokered deal had been supposed to get supplies of Russian gas moving to Europe via Ukraine on Tuesday despite the pricing impasse, with international monitors in place to ensure Ukraine was not siphoning off gas, as Moscow has alleged.

But it failed to break the deadlock and the row continues to disrupt supplies to 18 countries, forcing factories to shut down and leaving householders shivering in bitter winter cold..

EU monitors said no gas was flowing from Russia to Europe via Ukraine at all on Thursday morning and frustration is growing within the EU at the failure of Russia and its former Soviet vassal Ukraine to resolve the row.

Russia said on Thursday Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko would meet for talks on Saturday. (Reporting by Jonathan Gleave; writing by Ben Harding and Andrew Hay)

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