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Russia might cut Europe gas supply with threat

Russia threatens Europe, says it might cut its gas supplies
Russia threatens Europe, says it might cut its gas supplies

Image source: Euronews

Russia is threatening to cut gas supplies to Moldova, a country on Ukraine’s southwestern border.

As a result, Europe is preparing for further cuts in its gas supply from the country.

The news

On Tuesday, Gazprom, a Russian state-owned gas giant, announced it would cut supplies to the country on Monday.

They cited claims that Ukraine is withholding some of the gas that passes through its territory.

The company said it would cut gas flows through the Sudzha transit point, similar to claims Ukraine is blocking it from reaching Moldova.

Gazprom shared the news through its Telegram account, saying:

“The volume of gas supplied by Gazprom to the GIS Sudzha for transit to Moldova through the territory of Ukraine exceeds the physical volume transmitted at the border of Ukraine with Moldova.”

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Ukraine responds

Despite the allegations, Ukraine has denied withholding gas supplies to its neighbor.

Naftogaz, a Ukrainian state-owned energy company, responded to the claims on Tuesday by tweeting:

“Gazprom accused Ukraine of stealing gas. Once again. In short: this is not true.”


The Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU) also released a statement on the situation.

They said Russian gas received at the Sudzha entry point for transport to Moldova was routed to exit points along their joint border.

According to the operator, Moldova has launched a “virtual reverse” of certain Russian gas imports to Ukraine.

However, it did not give a reason.

Analysts said the opposite is a joint trade agreement, where some of the gas destined for one site is diverted to be stored or sold to another buyer.

Olga Bielkova, Director of Government and International Affairs at GTSOU, said:

“This is not the first time Russia has resorted to using gas as an instrument of political pressure.”

“It manipulates facts to justify its decision to limit further the volume of gas supplies to European countries.”

Meanwhile, Hennig Gloystein, director of energy, climate and resources at Eurasia Group, said Moldova has historically stored some of its gas in Ukraine.

“So the argument that it is being held in Ukraine by Ukraine is moot,” said Gloystein.

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Although Moldova is not a member of the European Union, it is applying to become a Union member.

Russia supplies the country with more than 5 million cubic meters of gas daily, a small fraction of the gas the Union uses daily to fuel its homes and businesses.

However, the move raises the specter of a further reduction in gas supplies to the European Union via Ukraine.

Russia also sends gas to Europe via the TurkStream pipeline from Turkey to Bulgaria.

Natural gas prices in Europe rose 4% on Wednesday.

However, at $128 per megawatt-hour, gas remains 64% below record levels set at the start of 2022.

If Russia stops exporting via Ukraine, Europe will lose more than 4 billion cubic meters of gas between December and March.

Even if that happens, Europe probably has the resources to deal with it in the short term.


Russia threatens to cut supply of gas through Ukraine

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.