The number of countries where the Russian energy company Gazprom has reduced or stopped natural gas shipments in Europe, which is preparing to enter the winter season with the energy crisis, is increasing.
While Europe is putting Russia in an economically difficult situation with comprehensive sanctions due to the Ukraine war, the Kremlin administration’s taking counter-steps deepens the energy crisis in Western countries.
Recently, Gazprom announced that it has stopped natural gas shipments to Italy, with which it had many cooperation in the energy sector before the war.
The Italian company ENI announced that the shipments for October have stopped, and it will become clear in the coming days whether the gas flow will resume or not.
Gazprom reported that technical talks with the ENI company regarding the continuation of the shipments are continuing, while in another statement made on the same day by the company, it was stated that the shipments to Moldova were reduced by nearly 30 percent.
Accusing Moldova of violating its obligations in natural gas contracts, Gazprom warned that if this situation continues, it may completely stop natural gas shipments to Moldova.
Shipments had Previously Stopped to Poland and Bulgaria
According to the new “rouble payment system” announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 23, countries that buy Russian gas must open an account with Gazprombank and make the payments to this bank, and the funds in question must be converted into rubles on the Moscow Stock Exchange.
Gazprom, which is Europe’s main natural gas supplier as of 2021, stopped the gas flow to Poland and Bulgaria at the end of April on the grounds that they did not make their payments in rubles.
While Poland’s dependence on Russian gas stood at 40 percent last year, the country relies on pipelines from Norway and liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies, primarily from the United States, to get rid of this dependency.
Bulgaria, which has a 90 percent dependency on Russian gas, imported 3.3 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia last year. Some officials in Bulgaria argue that negotiations with Russia are needed to resume natural gas shipments.
After these two countries, Gazprom also stopped shipments to some energy companies supplying Finland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Latvia and Germany on the grounds that they did not comply with the payment system.
Pipeline Problems are on the Tise
Shipments via Nord Stream 1, one of the important lines where Russia delivers natural gas to Europe, were stopped on August 31.
Nord Stream 1 is known as one of the important lines carrying Russian gas to Europe, as well as the Yamal-Europe pipeline and the pipelines in Ukraine. Due to the leaks on Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 last week, Russia accuses some Western countries, especially the USA, of sabotaging the lines.
The Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which Gazprom built by planning to reroute most of the natural gas it sends to Europe via Ukraine, was idle due to sanctions before it was even put into operation.
Yamal-Europe, another pipeline that plays a critical role in Gazprom’s natural gas shipments to Europe, is no longer used.
The Yamal-Europe pipeline is known as one of the important lines carrying Russian gas to Europe, as well as the pipelines in Ukraine and the Nord Stream pipeline.
Gazprom announced that it will no longer use the Polish part of the Yamal-Europe pipeline after the developments.
Shipments via Ukraine Halved
Gazprom Representative Sergey Kupriyanov said in a statement on May 10 that Ukraine had been informed that it would stop purchasing Russian gas from the natural gas distribution point called Sohranovka.
Russia was shipping 30 percent of the gas it sent to Europe via Sohranovka, which is located in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine and has a daily capacity of about 30 million cubic meters.
With the closure of the said entry point, the amount of natural gas sent by the company to Europe via Ukraine decreased by 54 percent compared to May 10, as of yesterday, to 41 million cubic meters.