Gazprom says it has cut 100 per cent of gas to Ukraine

Moscow/Kiev - Russia's gas export monopoly Gazprom said it has fully cut gas deliveries to Ukrainian consumers on Thursday.

A spokesman for Gazprom said it had cut 100 per cent of supplies, or 110 million cubic metres of gas per day, meant for Ukraine from 10 am Moscow time (0700 GMT) after talks on a new deal for 2009 deliveries failed.

"At the current time we have no contract for the deliveries of gas to Ukraine," Sergei Kupriyanov said.

Another 326 million cubic metres of gas was being pumped to European clients further downstream, he added.

While this represents an increase in supplies to Europe, Kupriyanov said it was not related to the situation in Ukraine.

Ukraine's gas monopoly Naftogaz confirmed it was observing a steady drop in the pipeline's gas pressure. A spokesman for the company said it would use its gas reserves to make up for the difference.

The breakdown in trade between Moscow and Kiev have raised fears of a repeat of the "gas wars" of 2006, when gas supplies to western Europe were disrupted by Gazprom's cutoff and alleged Ukrainian siphoning off of gas.

Experts say Ukraine has enough gas stored for the winter, but Gazprom accused Naftogaz of "blackmailing" it with threats in talks to seize transits to Europe.

Over 80 per cent of Russian gas exports to Europe pass through Ukrainian pipelines. (dpa)