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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Fitch Warns of Gas Crisis

Europe, which gets one-quarter of its gas from Gazprom, is on the verge of a new energy crisis because of deteriorating relations between the company and Ukraine, the main gateway for its exports, Fitch Ratings said.

Calls by Yulia Tymoshenko, who is set to become Ukraine's new prime minister, to revise the country's contract with Gazprom and Ukraine's failure to store enough gas underground to meet a winter surge in demand are contributing to a "combination of events, demands and potential prices rises" that "could spark a new European energy crisis," Fitch said in a statement Monday.

"It seems like all the makings of a perfect storm," said Jeffrey Woodruff, director of Fitch's Energy Group in Moscow, in the e-mailed statement. The combination of events "colluding near the beginning of the G8 summit seems almost unbelievable."

A dispute over prices led Russia to cut gas to Ukraine on Jan. 1-2, resulting in shortages of the fuel in countries such as Germany and Italy and sparking concerns in Europe about the continent's dependency on Russian energy.

Russia has made energy security a theme of next month's G8 summit in St. Petersburg.