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The Russia–Ukraine gas disputes refer to a number of disputes between Ukrainian oil and gas company Naftohaz Ukrainy and Russian gas supplier Gazprom over natural gas supplies, prices, and debts. The disputes have involved politicians of both countries, and have threatened natural gas supplies in numerous European countries that depend on Russian natural gas transported through Ukraine. Russia provides about a quarter of the natural gas consumed in theEuropean Union. Ukraine transports about 80% of Russian gas going to EU.[1]

A serious dispute started in March 2005 over the natural gas and transit prices. During this conflict Russia claimed Ukraine was not paying for gas, and diversing gas exported to EU from the pipelines. Ukrainian officials at first denied the last accusation [2][3], but later Naftohaz Ukrainy admitted it withheld some Russian gas intended for other European countries, and used it for domestic needs. The dispute culminated on 1 January 2006 when Russia cut off gas supplies passing through Ukrainian territory.[4] On 4 January 2006 a preliminary agreement between Russia and Ukraine was achieved, the supply was restored and the situation calmed.

Another dispute arose in October 2007 over Ukrainian gas debts and culminated in the gas supplies reduction in March 2008. During the last months of 2008 relations between Russia and Ukraine again became tense because of a dispute over the size of gas debts owed by Ukraine.[5]

In January 2009, the dispute resulted in 18 European countries reporting major falls or cut-offs of their gas supplies from Russia transported through Ukraine.[6][7]

In September 2009 officials from both countries do not expect a new conflict[8][9], at least not till the Ukrainian 2010 presidential elections[10], but in October 2009 a disagreement about the amount of gas Ukraine would import from Russia in 2010 occurred. Ukraine intents to imports less gas in 2010 because of its economic recession its industries requires far less gas, Gasprom insists that Ukraine fulfils its contractual obligations.[11] 
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