Ukraine has left angry messages on several utility comparison websites, complaining that the boxes for entering annual kilowatt hours for gas consumption are far too small.
“It was bad enough having to convert 55 billion cubic metres into kilowatt hours,” said Ukraine’s Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan, “then really annoying to find the box was too small for all the zeros.”
Uswitch and moneysupermarket.com have both replied to Ukraine, saying they are sorry the size of the boxes did not meet the customer’s expectations. “On the other hand,” said a spokesman for uSwitch, “we did point out that where it says ‘domestic usage’, the box is for a single household, not an entire sovereign nation recognised by international law.”
Ukraine said it was desperate to find a new gas supplier as it was about to have its gas cut off by its current supplier, Gazprom, following an unresolved dispute over their last bill. “We know it was an estimated bill,” said the Minister, “and everyone was very busy at the time and no-one came to read the meter. Even so, $440m seems a bit steep.”
The situation in Ukraine has not been helped by its recent failed bid to secure Winter Fuel Payment on behalf of its 45 million citizens from the UK government. “I would love to help,” said Ian Duncan Smith, “but rules is rules and qualify you don’t.” UKIP’s Nigel Farage went off on one in an endless blah-blah-blah about ‘cheeky foreigners’, but was silenced when he was mistaken for a barrage and concreted into a river in Gloucester as part of the flood defences.
David Cameron, Barack Obama and Angela Merkel held an emergency phone conference about the Ukraine crisis. “And it’s not just the gas bill,” quipped Cameron, “it’s newspapers, milk, rent… you name it, they’re in arrears with it. Hello? You still there? No, yes, you’re right, sorry, it is serious.”
Europe, the UK and the US have now had a quick whip-round and raised enough cash to pay Ukraine’s gas bill, which is good news all round, especially as the pipes that supply Ukraine also supply Europe and the UK.
“It became clear that the priority was to get Gazprom paid when they started threatening to cut it off completely. No, I’m not talking about the gas supply,” Cameron said in a TV interview, “I’m talking about their sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League.”