Russian Gas Exports to Europe Unaffected by Ukraine Pipeline Blast

MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russian gas supplies to Europe were not affected after part of a gas pipeline near Luhansk in eastern Ukraine caught fire late on Friday, a Ukrainian gas official said.

A pipeline crossing in Ukraine.

The pipeline was struck by "a powerful explosion" which cut off nearly 100 households from the gas supply, Interfax news agency reported, citing a local natural gas supplier.

Tatiana Bogorodko, head of Luhanskgas, was quoted by Interfax as saying that the pipeline blast was caused by sabotage. She did not elaborate further.

Luhansk and Donetsk are the two main cities in the breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

There are no export pipelines in that area which ship Russian gas via Ukraine onwards to Europe, Sergiy Makogon, head of Ukraine's gas transit operator, said on his Facebook page on Saturday, adding that transit supplies to Europe continued as usual.

(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh in Moscow and Natalia Zinets in Kyiv Writing by Katya GolubkovaEditing by Chris Reese and Jane Merriman)

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