Parts of Europe spent yet another day without gas as the Russian and Ukrainian energy providers failed to reach an agreement on supplies as promised, with hundreds of thousands of Europeans beginning a second week with little or no heat in their homes, offices or schools.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev and Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico were due in Moscow to meet with their Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the gas crisis.
On Tuesday Moscow turned on the taps for a short while and then turned it off, alleging that Ukraine was blocking the shipments.
According to European Union inspectors not a single molecule of gas arrived. They refused to say whose fault it was. The EU is clearly angry at the crisis that has deprived millions of heat, light and even work.
Russia said it would initially pump only test amounts of gas Tuesday, which would however have been enough to restore full supplies to Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania and Turkey.
The gas supplies from Russia to Ukraine were cut off on New Year's Day after a dispute over late payments and a failure to agree on a price for 2009, but last week shut off all supplies after accusing Kiev of siphoning off gas transiting the country to Europe.
Ukraine has hotly contested accusations it has stolen gas, and the EU-brokered monitor deal was meant to overcome this issue.
Europe gets about 20 percent of its gas from Russia through pipelines that cross Ukraine. Russia stopped selling gas to Ukraine on Jan. 1, then stopped sending any gas into its vast pipeline system on Jan. 7, alleging Ukraine was siphoning off supplies destined for Europe.
EU energy ministers at an emergency meeting on Monday concluded that the 27-nation bloc needed to increase investment in energy infrastructure to reduce its dependence on Russia.