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Ukraine 'Stabilizes' Gas Supply Amid Fresh Energy Dispute With Russia

FILE - A general view shows the headquarters of Gazprom, with a board of Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Gazprom seen in the foreground, on the day of the annual general meeting of the company's shareholders in Moscow.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says gas deliveries to Ukraine have “stabilized” after Russian gas giant Gazprom halted gas supplies to the country earlier this week in the latest energy dispute between the two countries.

“The difficult situation that arose due to the actions of Gazprom has been resolved thanks to the united actions of Ukrainians and the authorities. As of Saturday morning, we have a steep increase in gas supplies from Poland, Slovakia and Hungary,” Poroshenko was quoted as saying by Ukrainian media Saturday.

“Today, we have a stable gas supply. We have enough gas in storage facilities from our own production and imports,” the Ukrainian leader added.

Kyiv and Moscow were drawn into a new gas dispute on Thursday after Russia’s state-owned Gazprom unexpectedly decided not to restart supplies for Ukraine, forcing Kyiv to reduce supplies despite freezing temperatures and leading to the closing of many schools and universities.

Gazprom said it had returned a prepayment to Ukraine and would not restart gas supplies because an additional agreement to the existing arrangements had yet to be reached.

Other supplies

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman in a Friday televised address attempted to reassure the public, saying that alternative supplies had been arranged after Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz said it signed an urgent contract with Poland’s PGNiG.

Hroysman said he expected the country's supply situation to be restored to normal within five days.

Gazprom's move followed a decision Wednesday by the Stockholm arbitration court stating that Gazprom must pay $2.56 billion to Naftogaz after weighing mutual claims and counterclaims related to gas supplies and transit after several years of commercial disputes.

Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller on Friday said the court's ruling meant the company's gas deals with Ukraine would no longer be commercially viable, so it had no choice but to ask the court to terminate them.

Gazprom also has said it would terminate its gas contracts with Ukraine.

The European Union has offered to mediate to resolve the dispute.