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Escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine

Russian supplies to Europe via Ukraine may be heading for an interruption next year

The odds of Europe experiencing a gas supply crisis similar to the one that occurred in 2009—when Russian gas stopped flowing through Ukraine in the depths of winter—have risen sharply in recent months. Even a decade on, memories of that supply disruption remain fresh. The contract that governs transit of Russian gas through Ukraine expires on 31 December and it is looking increasingly unlikely that talks to agree a successor will bear fruit. Without such a contract in place, Russian deliveries to Europe will almost certainly stop on 1 January. The seriousness with which some stakeholders regard this prospect is evident in their preparations for it. Hungary, for example, has decided to buy



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