Russia's Gazprom accuses Ukraine of massive gas siphoning, gets Italian support
Russian state-controlled gas giant &to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/89/355/16765_Gazprom.html' target=_blank>Gazprom on Friday accused Ukraine of siphoning off as much gas as Germany usually receives from Russia over three days, raising the heat in a renewed gas dispute that has led to more shortfalls in Russian gas exports to Europe.
&to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/88/354/16712_gas.html' target=_blank>Ukraine, the transit point for 80 percent of OAO Gazprom's gas supplies to Europe, has been consuming record amounts of gas as temperatures have plunged to minus 25 Celsius (minus 13 Fahrenheit).
Russia accuses it of tapping into transit pipelines pumping gas to Europe, which is also suffering from a cold snap. It won support Friday from Italy, which has had to call on Italian citizens to reduce heating use to help save energy because of daily shortages of Russian gas deliveries.
Italian Industry Minister Claudio Scajola, who was in Moscow for talks with Russian Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko, said afterward that he had asked him to pay "particular attention" to respect for contractual obligations.
"But we both agreed that rules must be observed by all. And consequently it cannot be permitted that Ukraine should take a quantity of gas from a pipeline intended for Italy that significantly exceeds the contractual obligations of Ukraine," he said.
Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said on state television that Ukraine had skimmed off almost 400 million cubic meters (14.1 trillion cubic feet) of gas since the start of the week, reports AP. O.Ch.