22 Jan 2009

European gas supplies return to normal

7:08 am on 22 January 2009

Russian gas supplies were back to normal in most of Europe by Wednesday after being cut two weeks ago in a dispute over price between Moscow and Ukraine.

Russia supplies about a fifth of Europe's gas.

Italy and France both said their imports via Ukraine had returned to normal overnight, while Balkan countries started receiving full supplies on Wednesday morning.

Austria, Slovakia and Hungary also said on Wednesday they had started to receive gas after the prolonged cut-off forced some countries to ration supplies of gas in mid-winter.

There was a smsorter cut in supplies three years ago.

Russia's reputation as an energy supplier and Ukraine's reliability as a transit country are now under intense scrutiny.