Bulgaria has been hit most severely by the spat, as it is the only affected country not to possess alternative supply routes which bypass Ukraine and has no liquefied gas terminal of its own, writes Dnevnik. Moreover, the country has just one, limited-capacity gas storage facility at Chiren, near the city of Pleven.
Deputy Energy Minister Galina Tosheva told Dnevnik that the Chiren facilities would provide adequate supplies for a month. But Dimitar Gogov, executive director of state-controlled gas supplier Bulgargaz, contradicted this by declaring that the country only had enough gas to last a couple of days.
Bulgargaz has already devised a plan to reduce consumption, revealed the government's press office after Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev had called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation. The Balkan region has experienced particularly cold and snowy conditions this winter, with temperatures in Bulgaria dropping to less than -15 degrees Celsius overnight.
Romania has also been hit by the dispute. The country's natural gas distribution company Transgaz announced that deliveries to the Isaccea entry point had been entirely halted to prevent a loss of pressure in the pipelines, reports HotNews Romania.
The agency quotes a press release from the Economy Ministry, which explains that a complete shutdown had become necessary to prevent pipelines from losing pressure. Romania normally receives about a third of its gas from Russia, while domestic production covers about 65 percent of its needs.
Russian gas supplies to Turkey via a pipeline across Ukraine have been totally cut off, Turkey's Energy Minister Hilmi Guler was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Guler said Turkey had increased supplies of Russian gas delivered via the Blue Stream pipeline, which passes under the Black Sea, to 48 million cubic metres per day instead of the previous figure of 40 million. Ankara will also use liquid natural gas sources and natural gas stores, he explained. The minister said Turkey had not experienced any interruptions to the 15 million cubic metres of natural gas provided each day by Iran.
Elsewhere, Serbia and Croatia also reported that deliveries of Russian gas had stopped completely.
The escalating conflict between Moscow and Kiev is also affecting deliveries to Western Europe. Although Gazprom informed Austrian oil and gas group OMV of restrictions on Russian natural gas deliveries by around 30-40%, in fact only around 10% of Russian natural gas is being delivered to Austria's Baumgarten distribution hub, OMV said.
The amount of natural gas piped into Western Hungary from Austria fell on Tuesday as a result of the Russia-Ukraine pricing dispute, according to a statement from Hungary's gas distributor quoted by Deutsche Presse.
Czech pipeline operator RWE Transgas said the flow of gas from Ukraine and Slovakia had dropped significantly. It said it would increase purchases of Norwegian gas delivered via another pipeline.
Ukraine blames Russia
Gazprom has reportedly reduced supplies to Ukraine to the amount that it estimates is illegally siphoned off by Kiev. Ukraine, meanwhile, claims that Gazprom itself has reduced supplies to Europe by a third. The EU at first tried to keep its distance from the dispute, preferring not to become an arbiter in the conflict. Until yesterday, it had tried to play down the possible consequences of the gas row (EurActiv 06/01/09).
The Czech EU Presidency today published a press release after holding fresh talks with Ukrainian officials.
"Different viewpoints regarding legal and technical matters make agreement between Naftogaz and Gazprom difficult," it reads.
An EU fact-finding mission is set to meet representatives of Gazprom in Berlin later this afternoon.