In a head to head meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G8 summit, the Italian premier Romano Prodi spoke of his desire to see the Ukraine fill its storage reserves to ensure that supplies to Italy can be maintained in the event of another supply crunch.

We didn’t talk about Ukraine in the G8 [group meetings]. I discussed the problem extensively in my bilateral with [president] Putin because we Italians are worried, deeply worried when the news we have is that Ukraine has not filled the deposits, Mr Prodi was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Russian gas giant Gazprom has already stated its concerns that Ukraine is falling behind in its schedules to fill up its gas storage tanks ahead of the winter.