OAO Gazprom, the world’s biggest natural gas producer, is holding negotiations with Ukraine today to resolve a price dispute after postponing a deadline for Kiev to settle its debts or face a supply cutoff to next week.
The European Union’s biggest gas inventories in three years are cushioning the region from Russian supply disruptions and helping avoid a repeat of previous crises when prices rose as much as fourfold.
OAO Gazprom, Russia’s natural-gas exporter, sent Ukraine a bill for an estimated $1.7 billion of imports next month, saying it will cut off supplies if the neighboring country doesn’t start paying in advance.
OAO Gazprom, Russia’s natural-gas export monopoly, said Belarus is refusing to pay agreed prices for fuel supplies, as Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart meet for economic talks today.
Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko ordered Russian gas transit to the European Union be halted, accusing OAO Gazprom of starting a “gas war” by cutting flows to his country by 30 percent amid a debt dispute.