Russia no longer reliable gas supplier: IEA

MADRID (Reuters) – Russia has lost its status as a reliable gas supplier to Europe after European Union states were cut off for days from Russian gas, the International Energy Agency (IEA), said Thursday.

The agency advises top industrialized countries on energy policy.

“Russia has cut off its status as being a reliable gas supplier to Europe,” IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol told a conference in Madrid.

“The Russia-Ukrainian gas crisis is another wake up call to EU countries to restructure their energy issues.”

An EU-brokered deal had been supposed to get supplies of Russian gas moving to Europe via Ukraine Tuesday despite the pricing impasse, with international monitors in place to ensure Ukraine was not siphoning off gas, as Moscow has alleged.

But it failed to break the deadlock and the row continues to disrupt supplies to 18 countries, forcing factories to shut down and leaving householders shivering in bitter winter cold..

EU monitors said no gas was flowing from Russia to Europe via Ukraine at all Thursday morning and frustration is growing within the EU at the failure of Russia and its former Soviet vassal Ukraine to resolve the row.

Russia said Thursday Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko would meet for talks Saturday.

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