Gazprom threatens to stop gas supplies to Europe via its last lines
The Russian company “Gazprom” announced that it will reduce its gas supplies sent to Europe through Ukraine starting next week, at a time when temperatures are falling strongly during the winter, as European countries begin to use their gas reserves for heating.
Russian gas exports through Ukraine are the last gas export routes from Russia to Eastern Europe, as Moscow has reduced gas supplies to the Old Continent since the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis last February, and fell sharply before stopping completely through the “Nord Stream 1” line at the end of last August.
Traders and policymakers were also preparing for a possible curb in flows through Ukraine, as prices rose by about 5.2 percent, according to a report published by the agency “Bloomberg”, Tuesday.
“Gazprom " said that some of the gas supplies that are scheduled to reach Moldova remain in Ukraine, and noted that it will limit the volumes of gas passing through Ukraine from November 28, consistent with the volumes of gas that do not reach Moldovan customers.
The report explained that the Russian gas pipeline through Ukraine is also used to transport gas to Europe, but in minimal quantities.
For its part, the Ukrainian operator of the line said that it is fully delivering the allocated gas supplies to Moldova.
At the same time, since last September, Moldova and Ukraine have organized reverse gas flows, according to a statement from Ukraine, which means that some volumes of Russian gas intended for Moldova may remain in Ukraine, including for storage purposes.
The European side fears that the move will lead to a complete cessation of Russian gas supplies through Ukraine.
Despite the fact that European countries have larger stocks than usual, the current winter will be a challenge for Europe with the interruption of Russian gas supplies.
Katya Yafimava, a researcher at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, said that the market is taking into account the possibility of a further decline in gas flows from Russia, so strong moves in the market will occur only when the prospects become a fait accompli.
She added that so far the problem apparently concerns only Ukraine and Moldova.