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Russia restores gas supply to Austria

The supply has been re-established amid the ongoing gas dispute between Moscow and Kiev.

world Updated: Jan 03, 2006 09:35 IST

The supply of Russian natural gas to Austria has been re-established following a brief drop amid the ongoing gas dispute between Moscow and Kiev, Austrian Economic Minister Martin Bartenstein has announced.

He expressed satisfaction, in a statement on Monday, that Russian energy giant Gazprom had kept its promise to restore the supply after Austria saw its Russian natural gas supplies, brought in via Ukraine, drop by about a third.

The reduction came after Gazprom announced on Sunday it was cutting off supplies to Ukraine because Kiev had failed to accept a steep increase in gas prices for 2006.

Gazprom Vice-President Alexander Medvedev had said earlier that the supply would be restored within 24 hours, regardless of the row with Ukraine.

On Sunday, Austria assumed the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union (EU).

According to Austrian Vice-Chancellor Hubert Gorbach, the supply to Europe "is absolutely not in danger."

A number of European countries, including Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Italy, also reported a fall in pressure indicating a drop in supplies of Russian gas transiting through Ukraine.

The news of the return to full supply to Austria came after a similar announcement from Hungary.

"The pressure levels are back to normal on the pipelines carrying Russian gas through Ukraine," Hungary's national news agency quoted an economy ministry statement as saying.

First Published: Jan 03, 2006 09:35 IST