Russia set to cut Ukraine gas flows

Russia was preparing to turn off gas deliveries to neighbouring Ukraine today, raising the spectre of disruptions to EU supplies, after contract talks for 2009 broke down.

European states are anxious to avoid a repeat of what happened in January 2006 when, during a similar row, Moscow cut off supplies to Ukraine, causing a fall in gas supplies passing via Ukraine to the rest of Europe. Moscow says it will honour its contracts to supply European customers with gas, and these have enough reserves to manage without Russian supplies for days, but not weeks.

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