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Russian authorities ignore plea to reopen gas pipeline

The Russian authorities have today ignored pleas from the international community to reopen gas supplies to Europe and other parts of the world via the Ukraine. This high risk game of cat and mouse has already impacted on gas prices in Europe and the rest of the world and is set to translate into high energy costs for many households in the UK.

It appears there are significant political moves in the background which are ongoing but as yet have proved unsuccessful. In essence the Russian energy companies have the European market "over a barrel" but cutting off gas supplies at this stage is a high-risk strategy as the Russian economy is itself under serious pressure. The Russian authorities must be aware that such moves as we have seen over the last few days will only speed up the process of finding alternative gas supplies to the European market which could eventually reduce the impact that Russia has in this area.

The increase in gas prices could not have come at a worse time as the UK enters one of the coldest periods of the year with more and more of the older population struggling to make ends meet and cover their energy bills. Despite assistance from the government there is great concern that many will be unable to use their heating over the cold winter months which could have serious implications.

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