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

The Ukrainian prime minister said on March 2 that he expected the country's gas supply situation to be restored to normal within five days.

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 on March 3.

“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 March 1 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.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman in a March 2 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 follows a decision on February 28 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 March 2 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.

With reporting by UNIAN and Interfax