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Russian gas exports to Ukraine decline this month: source

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian gas exports to Ukraine have been falling since early April, a gas industry source said on Friday, declining to give a reason for the reduction. Moscow and Kiev are locked in a stand-off over the price of Russian gas, with Russia saying it may reduce supplies if Ukraine fails to pay an increased price and pay off its debts.

Slovakia wants EU guarantee for any gas supply to Ukraine

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said Thursday he wants the European Union to guarantee that Ukraine will pay should Slovakia facilitate reverse gas flow from Europe. "It's clear that Ukraine is not able to pay its bills. Only a third party, like the European Union and European Commission, can guarantee that Slovakia will get paid if we help Ukraine," Fico told reporters in Bratislava.

Crimea clouds oil market outlook

The global oil market is returning to a rough balance but Russia's annexation of Crimea has clouded the outlook with both supply and demand growth to slow, the International Energy Agency said Friday. While the IEA has recently been warning of tight markets as oil demand picks up with a recovery of the global economy, it said stocks had improved and a slowdown in the Russian economy would also help relieve pressure.

Japan to keep using nuclear in new energy plan

Japan on Friday said nuclear power would remain an important source of energy as the government approved a new Basic Energy Plan, the first policy of its kind since the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The government of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said atomic generation would resume once regulators were sure of the safety of each reactor, all of which were switched off after the tsunami-sparked catastrophe at the Fukushima plant.

Slovakia seeks gas talks with Ukraine, Russia, EU; Hungary set to supply Kiev

By Jan Lopatka and Krisztina Than PRAGUE/BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico called for talks with Ukraine, Russia and the European Commission to ensure his country can reverse gas flows to Kiev without violating existing contracts, while Hungary said it could do so at once.

Putin warns European leaders: Gas dispute with Ukraine can threaten their own energy supplies

MOSCOW - Vladimir Putin warned Europe on Thursday that it may face a shutdown of Russian natural gas supplies if it fails to help Ukraine settle its enormous Russian gas bill — a debt that far exceeds a bailout package offered by the International Monetary Fund.

U.S. says Russia using natural gas as 'tool' against Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday said it condemned Russian efforts to use energy as a "tool of coercion" in its dispute with Ukraine. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Russia had reneged on an agreement with Ukraine that offered reduced natural gas prices in exchange for a 25-year lease on Black Sea fleet facilities.

Putin warns EU leaders on gas supplies, Ukraine economy

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday sent a letter to leaders of 18 European countries, warning them Russia could cut gas supplies to Ukraine, but suggesting that Moscow and Brussels work together to help restore the ex-Soviet country's battered economy. If Ukraine does not settle its 1.6 billion euro ($2.2 billion) energy bill, natural gas giant Gazprom would be "compelled to switch over to advance payment for gas deliveries, and in the event of further violation of the conditions of payment, will completely or partially cease gas deliveries," Putin wrote in the letter.

Russia warns Europe of gas supply cuts over Ukraine debt

By Alexei Anishchuk MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin warned European leaders on Thursday Russia would cut natural gas supplies to Ukraine if it did not pay its bills and said this could lead to a reduction of onward deliveries to Europe. In a letter to the leaders of 18 countries, he demanded urgent talks with Europe on pulling Ukraine's economy out of crisis but made clear his patience was running out over Kiev's $2.2 billion gas debt to its former Soviet master.

Slovak PM calls for talks with Ukraine, Russia, EU on gas flows

By Jan Lopatka PRAGUE (Reuters) - Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico on Thursday called for talks with Ukraine, Russia and the European Commission to ensure his country can reverse natural gas flows to Ukraine without violating existing contracts. Fico told reporters he supported projects to send gas to Ukraine but needed to ensure his country gets paid and avoids violating contracts with Russian gas supplier Gazprom.
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