Gas supplies to Europe dry up as row between Russia and Ukraine deepens:
Gas supplies from Russia to Europe plummeted overnight with four countries reporting a complete halt as the dispute between Moscow and Ukraine over payment rates dramatically worsened.
Kiev said that Gazprom, the Russian state gas company, had cut the flow by 60 per cent following Vladimir Putin’s threat yesterday to punish Ukraine for allegedly stealing fuel it is supposed to allow to transit through its pipelines en route to Europe.
The Bulgarian Government called a crisis meeting at 7am this morning and appealed to all consumers to limit their usage as the gas stopped flowing at around 3.30am on the coldest night of the year, as it did to Greece, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
"We are in a crisis situation," the Bulgarian economy ministry said in a statement, with temperatures set to fall further this week and consumer demand forecast to rise.
Austria said that supplies were down to just 10 per cent of the expected amount while Hungary said that the flow was below 20 per cent of usual rates and the Czech Republic reported shortfalls.
How serious is it over there?