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Deal set to end gas supply crisis

Russian gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine resumed last week after a deal was signed in Brussels by the European Union and the two states.

The EU energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, said gas should start flowing on Tuesday morning, bringing the prospect of much needed relief to thousands of households in central Europe, the balkans and Bulgaria.  The area has been without gas supplies since transit through the Ukraine was suspended last week, amid a war of words between the Ukraine government and Gazprom, the Russian energy giant.

Both parties have blamed the other for the break in supplies after talks over new prices, transit charges and fines broke down at the turn of the year.

The supply crisis was the worse involcing russia for over 40 years.  Orginally thought to be resolved at the weekend the deal broke down over a row between Russia and the Ukraine over conditions and the deployment of independent monitors.  Russian accused Ukraine of siphoning off gas intended for European customers.

The row has highlighted Europes vulnerability to any supply problem affecting delivery of Russian gas.