Romania seeks explanations from Gazprom and Ukraine for gas supply cutoff

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Romanian Minister of Economy Adriean Videanu contacted the Gazprom official in Romania, asking for explanations for the cutoff of gas supplies through the Isaccea 2 (country east) station.
"I contacted the Gazprom representative in Romania, who said that the current situation is not caused by the Russian energy company. They will come back with details today (on Tuesday). I want to meet with Gazprom representatives," said Videanu.
 
The Ministry of Economy will contact the Embassy of Ukraine by diplomatic means to ask for details on the current situation, added Videanu.
An Emergency Response Committee will convene at the Ministry of Economy on Tuesday (Jan 6) at 4:00 p.m., to analyze the situation.
 
Premier Emil Boc and Minister of Economy Adriean Videanu assured that despite the cutoff of Russian gas supplies, the government has the situation under control and the authorities will resort to reducing fuel consumption with heat and power plants (CET) and to the use of alternative fuels. The head of the government added that however, some factors could influence the gas supply terms.
 
"We are subject to two limitations, a medium-term one related to developments in the Russia – Ukraine relation, and then there is the variability induced by outdoor temperatures. If temperatures fall below minus 15 Celsius degrees, some pressure-related issues might occur, but the technical teams are ready to step in and cope with the challenges," said the Premier.
 
The daily gas flow through the Isaccea 2 gas-pressure station is 4.7 million cubic metres and Romania's daily consumption is of 61.5 million cubic metres, with households absorbing 34 million cubic metres.
Romania imports natural gas from Russia through two entry points – Isaccea 2 and Mediesul Aurit (north). Previous to the outbreak of the gas crisis, Romania was importing from Russia some 10 million cubic metres a day.
 
Russia said on Thursday that it has cut off supplies of natural gas to Ukraine after a payment deadline expired and the sides failed to reach an agreement on the price of 2009 deliveries.
The gas pipeline that also supplies Western Europe transits Ukraine, but the Russian authorities had announced that European states will not be affected by a prospective cutoff of deliveries to Ukraine. Russia provides about one quarter if Europe's necessary gas supply.
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