SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

April 11, 2014

Putin: Ukraine debt threatens Europe gas supplies

(Continued)

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk added to European fears of a disruption in gas supplies as he criticized Ukraine’s national energy company Naftogaz of mismanagement.

“Naftogaz has 7.2 billion cubic meters of gas in underground storages while it is supposed to be 20 billion. It wasn’t me who stole that gas,” he said.

Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said earlier this week that Ukraine has not been getting any new gas pumped from Russia amid the pricing dispute, which means it has been relying on storage supplies it previously bought.

The effect of a possible halt in gas supplies could be harsh for Europe but probably not as severe as in January 2009, since Gazprom has built a new pipeline bypassing Ukraine and increased the capacity of existing ones.

The IMF has pledged the loans to Ukraine on condition it undertake economic reforms, with the United States and EU also providing support. The Ukrainian parliament on Thursday passed some of the necessary laws, including cuts in import duties.

The IMF loans, however, are likely to come in several tranches over two years while the Kremlin seems to be demanding the debt to be settled immediately.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Thursday that Washington is “taking immediate steps to assist Ukraine, including the provision of emergency finance and technical assistance.” She added that the U.S. is also trying to encourage Ukraine’s western neighbors to “reverse natural gas flows in the pipeline so that Ukraine can access additional gas supplies if needed.”

In other news yesterday:

— Ukraine’s acting president Oleksandr Turchynov said pro-Russian activists occupying government buildings in the eastern cities of Donetsk and Luhansk will not be prosecuted if they lay down their arms. Protest leaders defied the request to leave.

— Tensions were still high in Donetsk, where about 1,000 protesters stood outside the occupied building chanting “Russia! Russia!” Activists also reinforced the barricades, piling up rubber tires or building brick walls out of cobblestones. They have demanded a referendum on broader autonomy or even secession from the new Kiev authorities.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Baker(1) GOP's Baker to unveil plan to fight drug addiction

    BOSTON (AP) — Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker has unveiled what he's calling a comprehensive approach to tackling the drug addiction crisis in Massachusetts.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140730_SN_DLE_DEMOLITION5 Demolition of Salem Harbor Station begins

    SALEM -- It all begins with B5. Or ends, depending on how you look at it. Demolition began at Salem Harbor Station Wednesday afternoon, with crews first setting upon one of the power plant's 11 steel tanks. The work was supposed to begin Monday, but

    July 31, 2014 7 Photos

  • Market Basket seeks replacement workers through job fair next week

    Market Basket began advertising a job fair for store managers and assistant managers in a direct shot at the current managers who signed petitions Monday threatening to resign if former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas is not rehired. The ad, which will appear

    July 31, 2014 2 Stories

  • Mary Manning Recovering Salem principal says thanks

    SALEM -- Just about a month before she was set to retire after 25 years as the principal of Collins Middle School, Mary Manning entered the hospital with a life-threatening condition. She hasn't been home since. A month later, in June, friends and co

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Former school janitor Robert Scribner sentenced for assaults in truck

    SALEM -- A now-former Marblehead school janitor was ordered to serve a year in jail Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges that he assaulted and threatened to kill his estranged girlfriend after trapping her in his pickup truck in May. Robert Scr

    July 31, 2014