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Cold wave in Russia hits supply of gas to European countries

Nick Paton Walsh

Toll 116; temperature in Moscow falls to minus 31 degree C


Moscow: Russia's state gas giant Gazprom has raised the spectre of energy shortages across Europe when it cut exports to Italy and Hungary amid cold weather at home.

Hungary said it had experienced a 20 per cent cut in natural gas supplies from Russia. A spokesman for gas and oil company MOL Rt said that its Russian suppliers had warned it of the drop in supply. He said it was because of Russia's cold snap.

Italy's Eni energy company said supplies had been cut by 5.4 per cent between 6 a.m. on Tuesday and 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

There were also unconfirmed reports of cuts in supplies to Bosnia and Austria. The cuts hit supplies across eastern Europe, and sparked criticism from both the E.U. and U.S. that Moscow was ``politicising'' energy.

- Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006

UNI reports:

Seven persons died of hypothermia in Moscow, as an unprecedented cold waves swept cross Russia.

A city emergency medical service source told Interfax news agency that another 93 persons suffering from frostbite have asked for medical aid, out of which 44 of were hospitalised. After the seven deaths last evening, the death toll this winter in the country has reached 116. The temperature in the Russian capital dropped to minus 31 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, causing disruption in the city transport.

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