Russia suspends gas deliveries to Latvia | War in Ukraine

Russia suspends gas deliveries to Latvia | War in Ukraine

Russian gas deliveries have already been reduced this week.

Russian giant Gazprom announced on Saturday that it has suspended gas deliveries to Latvia, amid Russian-Western tensions due to the conflict in Ukraine and European sanctions against Russia.

Today, Gazprom suspended gas deliveries to Latvia […], due to violation of gas offtake conditions, the Russian company said in a statement on Telegram, without further details.

The announcement comes as Gazprom drastically reduced deliveries of Russian gas to Europe this week via the Nord Stream pipeline, citing the need for maintenance of a turbine, as European countries scramble to stock up on reserves for the winter.

Russia had already cut its delivery volume twice in June, saying the pipeline could not function normally without a turbine that was being repaired in Canada and had not been returned to Russia due to sanctions. by the West following the Russian assault on Ukraine.

Germany and Canada have since agreed to return the equipment in Russia, but the turbine has not yet been delivered.

Westerners accuse Moscow of using the energy issue in retaliation for the sanctions adopted following the offensive against Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

The Kremlin, for its part, assures that the sanctions are the cause of technical problems in the gas infrastructure and that Europe therefore suffers from the measures it imposes on Russia.

The process of maintaining technical devices is made extremely difficult by the sanctions adopted by Europe, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said this week, while assuring that Gazprom remains a reliable guarantor of its obligations and delivers as much as necessary and as much as possible.

Russia has been hit with several rounds of Western sanctions after its military intervention in Ukraine launched on February 24.

Russian gas exports to Europe, particularly to the x27;Germany and Italy, have been steadily declining since the start of these sanctions. Gazprom also interrupted its gas deliveries to several European customers who refused to pay in rubles.

The Baltic states, for their part, stopped importing Russian gas as of April 1, according to Latvian storage company Conexus Baltic Grid.

On Friday, the Latvian natural gas trader Latvijas Gaze said it had resumed buying gas from Russia, without giving the identity of the suppliers and ensuring that it paid for its deliveries in euros.

According to official gas flow data published by Conexus, gas deliveries to the Latvian pipeline increased sharply since July 21, before coming to an abrupt halt on Friday.

In an attempt to prevent the risk of shortages next winter, the 27 members of the European Union (EU) agreed on Tuesday on a plan providing for each country to do everything possible to reduce , by March 2023, its gas consumption by at least 15% compared to the average of the last five years over the same period.

Russia accounted for some 40% of EU gas imports until last year.

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