With 2 Russian TV journalists killed in recent days and on the heels of Russia's cutting off Ukraine's gas supply for non-payment, Interfax is reporting that:
- *EXPLOSION ON UKRAINE GAS TRANSIT PIPELINE REPORTED: IFX
- *INTERFAX CITES UKRAINE INTERIOR MINISTRY ON GAS PIPELINE BLAST
Witnesses say flames are reaching 200 metres high. Gazprom shares are tumbling on the news (as should European stocks) and Russia's Foreign Affairs Committee Chief Aleksei Pushkov warned relations between Ukraine and Russia have entered a new stage and are "moving closer towards a serious conflict."
An explosion has struck a pipeline in the eastern Ukrainian Poltava region. Witnesses say flames from the blast are up to 200 meter high, RIA Novosti reports.
The “Brotherhood” natural gas pipeline (Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod) is about one kilometer away from the nearest settlement. No injuries have been reported from the blast. Fire fighting crews have been deployed to the scene.
Operating since 1967, the “Brotherhood” is the largest consumer gas pipeline in Europe, clocking in at 4,451 km. It cuts through Ukraine and runs into Slovakia, where it diverges in two directions; with one part supplying gas to the Czech Republic, Germany, France and Switzerland, and the other to Austria, Italy, Hungary and several countries in the Balkans.
Pipeline faucets are being tuned off as fire fighters still can’t put out the flame.
As Bloomberg reports,
Relations between Russia and Ukraine have entered a new stage and are "moving closer towards a serious conflict", said State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee chief Aleksei Pushkov.
Russia did not recognise unilateral border demarcation by Ukraine which was "contrary to all norms of international law", Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency quoted Pushkov as saying Tuesday.
"An attack on the Russian embassy, an attempted attack on the consulate-general in Odessa, insults to the Russian president, regular arrests of Russian journalists -- I think this is a deliberate decision co-ordinated with the U.S -- all these are links of one chain," he said.
We are sure the explosion/fire on the pipeline will further this sentiment.
- *UKRAINE MINISTRY: FIRE BROKE OUT ON GAS PIPLINE, NO EXPLOSION
- *UKRAINE MINISTRY SAYS INVESTIGATING CAUSE OF GAS PIPELINE FIRE
And the purported video of the pipeline..