Gazprom extends gas cuts to Europe by closing the tap to the main Dutch ‘trader’

Gazprom extends gas cuts to Europe by closing the tap to the main Dutch ‘trader’

Russia extended its gas cuts to Europe on Tuesday after state energy giant Gazprom cut off supplies to the Netherlands’ main operator GasTerra, escalating the economic battle between Moscow and Brussels.

The move comes a day after Denmark signaled the possible end of its Russian gas supply, as well as the European Union taking its toughest action yet against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, with an agreement to halt imports. of its oil by sea.

GasTerra, which buys and markets gas on behalf of the Dutch government, said it has contracted elsewhere for the 2 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas it expected to receive from Gazprom by October.

Dutch Economics Ministry spokesman Pieter ten Bruggencate said “this is not yet considered a threat to supply.”

Danish company Orsted warned on Monday that Gazprom Export could also cut off its supply, but also said such a move would not immediately jeopardize Denmark’s gas supply.

Moscow had already cut off natural gas supplies to Bulgaria, Poland and Finland, citing its refusal to pay in Russian rubles, a demand made in response to Western sanctions that have isolated Russia, including its expulsion from the SWIFT international banking messaging system. .

Gas supply cuts have pushed up already high fuel prices, fueling inflation and prompting European states and companies to look for an alternative supply and the infrastructure needed to manage it, such as floating storage and regasification.

On Monday, European Union leaders agreed in principle to cut Russian oil imports from the bloc by 90% by the end of the year, intensifying pressure on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation.”

Melissa Galbraith
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