Wednesday, December 31, 2008


And the fun continues.
MOSCOW — Negotiations over gas prices between Russia and Ukraine unraveled Wednesday and executives at Gazprom, the Russian natural gas monopoly, said they were preparing to halt supplies early Thursday morning. If they do, customers in Western Europe will see shortages as the same pipelines in Ukraine are used for export and internal distribution. It is a problem that has bedeviled Europe’s energy supplies from Russia for years. How quickly Western Europe would feel a shortage of natural gas was unclear, and would depend on the scale and duration of any Russian embargo of Ukraine. The fuel isused for heating and to generate electricity, and winter is the period of peak demand.