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    GAS SUPPLIES LIMITED IN KALININGRAD

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    KALININGRAD, February 19, 2004. (RIA Novosti - Northwest) - Gas supplies have been sharply limited in Kaliningrad (the administrative center of the Kaliningrad region - a Russian enclave in the Baltic) because of the termination of gas supplies to Belarus.

    The city's press service told RIA Novosti that on February 18 gas supplies to Belarus and Lithuania were suspended. The Kaliningrad region receives gas via these countries. At midnight, all heating stations and boilers began using oil.

    According to the press service spokesman, "the pressure at the inlet of the Kaliningrad gas distributing station is expected to decrease and the gas supply system may start malfunctioning." "The amount of the reserve fuel, with the outside temperature of -12 degrees Celsius, will be enough for only four or five days. In order to ensure the economical use of oil until the gas deliveries resume, hot water supplies will cut off. It is possible that gas pressure for everyday use will be lowered. A new account of the partial services will be made automatically," added the spokesman.

    However, Gazprom's Thursday press release said that the Russian gas giant had switched on its reserve capacities to ensure gas supplies to consumers in the Kaliningrad Region and Lithuania. The measures taken will prevent interruptions in electricity to the population and socially important facilities in the region.

    On February 19, 2004, gas supplies to Lithuania from Latvia through the "Riga- Panevezis" pipeline were resumed. Presently, gas deliveries to Lithuania amount to about 230,000 cubic meters per hour compared to the 400,000 cubic meters which were delivered to Lithuania and the Kaliningrad Region before gas transit via Belarus stopped.

    The gas deliveries to the Kaliningrad Region through Latvia and Lithuania amount to 30,000 cubic meters per hour.

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