The Russo-Ukrainian gas dispute of January 2009: a comprehensive assessment

The gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine in January 2009 was by far the most serious of its kind. The two sides failed to agree a price for Russian gas supply to Ukraine and a tariff for the transit of Russian gas to Europe before previous agreements expired on 31 December 2008. Russian exports to Ukraine were cut off on 1 January. Exports to 16 EU member states and Moldova were drastically reduced on 6 January and cut completely from 7 January. Deliveries to both Ukraine and other European countries restarted on 20 January following the signing of two new ten year contracts. The most seriously affected countries in the Balkans experienced a humanitarian emergency, with parts of the populations unable to heat their homes. Significant economic problems, but not of a humanitarian kind, were also caused in Hungary and Slovakia.

By: Jonathan Stern , Simon Pirani , Katja Yafimava

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