Vladimir Putin announced today that Russia would delay its oil export hike on Ukraine three months, giving Kiev a chance to reach compromise. However, if Ukraine does not sign on to the deal, Russia’s oil monopoly Gazprom will cease supplying oil as early as this Sunday. Putin remarked on his decision at a meeting with Gazprom head Alexi Miller:
“I instruct the government and Gazprom to ensure gas deliveries in the first quarter of 2006 with the conditions and rates of 2005, on the condition that before the end of today the Ukrainian partners sign the contract with Gazprom’s offer for switching to market prices in the second quarter,” he said in remarks broadcast by Russian TV. (BBC News)
Although Russia has insisted that the dispute will not affect the European Union’s oil supply, 80% of its exports are sent through Ukraine, forcing many to think otherwise.
This news comes only minutes before this Bloomberg article that puts oil at a two-month high in the states.
It’s going to be a cold, cold winter.