Russia cuts gas supply to Latvia

The service has been suspended in recent weeks to Bulgaria, Poland, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands, citing various pretexts, including the refusal to pay in rubles.

Since Saturday July 30, the Russian energy giant Gazprom has stopped gas supplies to Latvia. According to the company through a press release, the stoppage of the fluid is due to the “violation of the conditions on the selection of the gas”, although it does not specify to which violations it refers in particular.

The Latvian company that manages gas transmission, Conexus Baltic Grid, confirmed the supply cut. Yesterday, the Latvian company Latvijas Gaze admitted that it buys Russian gas, not directly from Gazprom, but through an intermediary whom it pays in euros, and not in rubles as Moscow demands from other European customers in response to the sanctions policy.

In 2021, about 90% of the gas Latvia buys comes from Russia. Last June, the Latvian Prime Minister, Arturs Krisjanis Karins, announced that his country would not continue to import Russian gas and indicated that the fluid would be definitively interrupted from January 1, 2023.

At the beginning of April, Conexus Baltic Grid announced that Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are stopping buying Russian gas directly through Gazprom due to the war in Ukraine and the loss of confidence in Moscow. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda called on the rest of the EU to follow the example of the Baltic countries.

Russia has in recent weeks cut off gas to Bulgaria, Poland, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands, citing various pretexts, including refusing to pay in rubles. Germany, which continues to receive gas from Russia albeit with gradually decreasing volumes, believes President Vladimir Putin is using the policy against the EU to push for a lifting of sanctions imposed following the invasion from Ukraine.

Cold shower and monumental blackout, aperitif of the harsh German winter

Since last Wednesday, Gazprom has decided to limit the gas supply to Europe again via the Nord Stream-1 gas pipeline to 33 million cubic meters per day, which represents a reduction of 20%. The reason given was once again the need to undertake maintenance on another pumping turbine. “The production capacity of the Portóvaya compressor station will increase to 33 million cubic meters on July 27”, announced the Russian energy company, specifying that it represents “about 20% of the gas pipeline’s capacity”, against 40% until then. Also supposedly exhausted due to the absence of the turbine sent to Canada for repair.

In June, Russia already cut off gas deliveries twice on the pretext that the pipeline could not operate normally without the turbine being repaired in Canada, pointing out that it has not yet been returned due to sanctions. The German group Siemens Energy, responsible for the maintenance of the turbine, said at the time that there was “no relation between the turbine and the gas reductions”.

But, yesterday Friday, Gazprom warned that “Moscow will only be able to accept the repaired turbine if it receives guarantees from the EU and Great Britain that Western sanctions will not be applied”, according to the deputy director of the company. , Vitali Markelov, who states that the issue of wind turbines is only a pretext to vigorously press Europe and that the real objective of the Kremlin is to obtain the lifting of sanctions.

Alvin Nguyen

"Amateur introvert. Pop culture trailblazer. Incurable bacon aficionado."

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