fogn.png
Tuesday December 6th, 2022 10:11PM

Russia's Gazprom threatens Europe gas cuts through Ukraine

By The Associated Press

Russian energy giant Gazprom has threatened to reduce natural gas supplies through the last pipeline heading to Europe via Ukraine, saying the amount it's supplying for Moldova is not ending up in the former Soviet republic.

Gazprom says the gas company of Europe's poorest country, Moldovagaz, paid for part of its November flows of gas under its contract. It added that nearly 25 million cubic meters has been supplied this month but not paid for.

The Russian state-owned company tweeted that if “the imbalance observed during the transit of gas to the Moldovan consumers across Ukraine continues,” Gazprom “will start reducing its gas supplies" through Ukraine starting Monday.

Both Moldova and Ukraine hit back at Gazprom, with Ukraine saying all supplies that Russia sent through the country were “fully transferred" to Moldova.

“This is not the first time that Russia resorts to using gas as a tool of political pressure. This is a gross manipulation of facts in order to justify the decision to further limit the volume of gas supplies to European countries,” said Olha Belkova of the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine.

It's the latest escalation after Russia has cut off most natural gas flows to Europe amid the war in Ukraine, which European leaders have called energy blackmail and Gazprom has blamed on maintenance and payment issues. Besides the pipeline through Ukraine, one other pipeline is still bringing Russian gas beneath the Black Sea to Turkey.

Heading into winter when natural gas is needed to heat homes as well as generate electricity and power factories, any reductions in supplies could mean higher prices, which have been fueling inflation and squeezing households and businesses. Natural gas prices have fallen since August peaks and European nations have been able to fill their storage capacity for winter, but the crunch could worsen if the weather turns out to be colder than normal.

The energy crisis has hit Moldova especially hard, with Russia halving its natural gas supply and Moscow's attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure triggering massive blackouts in several cities in the former Soviet republic.

Moldova relied heavily on Russian energy before the war and its Soviet-era energy systems remain interconnected with Ukraine, which is why the missile barrages set off the automatic shutdown of a supply line and caused the lights to go out temporarily.

With energy prices and inflation already high, the threat of a loss of further energy supplies to Moldova could leave consumers scrambling to pay their bills in the country of about 2.6 million.

Simone Tagliapietra, an energy policy expert at the Bruegel think tank in Brussels, pointed to a recent meeting between Moldovan President Maia Sandu and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen about energy assistance, noting that leaders who visited Kyiv earlier in the war to show their support had their gas cut off subsequently.

“Maybe they are following the same plot,” Tagliapietra said of Russia. “It looks like an act of despair for them. They are running out of energy weapons.”

He said one motive could be to put pressure on the EU by forcing it to drum up financial support for Moldova.

An international aid conference in Paris co-chaired by France, Germany and Romania raised more than 100 million euros ($102 million) on Monday to support Moldova. Earlier this month, the European Union also pledged the country 250 million euros (nearly $256 million) in aid.

Moldova’s office of reintegration policies said in a statement that the energy crisis in the country — including Transnistria, a Russia-backed breakaway region — "was not caused by Chisinau, but by the unjustified decisions of the Russian company Gazprom.”

Moldova’s statement was a response to accusations Tuesday by Transnistria, in which de-facto authorities alleged in a letter addressed to the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe that Moldova’s pro-Western leaders are responsible for energy shortages in the breakaway state.

“The only solution for overcoming the crisis is the resumption of the supply of natural gas by Gazprom in the quantities provided by the contract in force,” Moldova’s statement read, adding that Transnistria’s accusations were designed “to mislead public opinion and external partners.”

“Possibly preparing the ground for a new challenge, which could endanger the fragile stability which we have managed to maintain until now.”

Moldova became a candidate for EU membership in June, the same day as Ukraine.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Over half of Mississippi's rural hospitals risk closing
Mississippi's leading public health official says over half of the state's rural hospitals are at risk of closing immediately or in the near future
1:03PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Nigeria drills for oil in new field as theft erodes earnings
Nigeria has begun drilling oil and natural gas in the country’s northern region, anticipating a boost to the nation’s finances even as the new energy supplies face the threat from theft and extremist activity
1:00PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Thanksgiving travel rush begins with new some habits
The holiday travel rush is already on, and it could spread out over more days than usual this year
12:55PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Taylor Swift ticket trouble could drive political engagement
On the heels of a messy ticket rollout for Taylor Swift’s first tour in years, fans are angry
12:07PM ( 1 hour ago )
'Stock up on blankets': Ukrainians brace for horrific winter
Officials say Ukraine could face rolling blackouts through March because Russian airstrikes have caused what they call “colossal” damage to the power grid
11:53AM ( 1 hour ago )
US stocks rise, remain unsteady ahead of Thanksgiving
Stocks rose on Wall Street, but trading remained unsteady ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. The S&P 500 rose 0.6% Tuesday at midday
11:44AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Bulgaria to let Russian oil refinery export despite EU ban
Bulgaria will allow a Black Sea refinery owned by a Russian oil company to keep operating and exporting oil products to the European Union until the end of 2024 despite warnings by Brussels that it is against the bloc’s sanctions
8:00AM ( 5 hours ago )
Italian premier presents economic measures on energy, family
Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni has presented the government’s first economic policy initiatives
7:37AM ( 5 hours ago )
'Stock up on blankets': Ukrainians brace for bleak winter
One of Ukraine's energy chiefs says rolling blackouts across Ukraine may continue through March
7:04AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Consumers could pay price if railroads, unions can't agree
Consumers could quickly start seeing higher gas prices and shortages of some of their favorite groceries if railroads aren’t able to agree on contracts with al 12 of their unions ahead of next month’s deadline after the latest rejection vote Monday
6:00PM ( 19 hours ago )
Ukraine to civilians: Leave liberated areas before winter
Ukrainian authorities are evacuating civilians from liberated areas in the southern Kherson and Mykolaiv regions
4:12PM ( 21 hours ago )
Stocks slip; Disney soars after reinstating Iger as CEO
Stocks slipped on Wall Street to kick off a holiday-shortened week
3:12PM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Business - Utilities
Over half of Mississippi's rural hospitals risk closing
Mississippi's leading public health official says over half of the state's rural hospitals are at risk of closing immediately or in the near future
1:03PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Nigeria drills for oil in new field as theft erodes earnings
Nigeria has begun drilling oil and natural gas in the country’s northern region, anticipating a boost to the nation’s finances even as the new energy supplies face the threat from theft and extremist activity
1:00PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Thanksgiving travel rush begins with new some habits
The holiday travel rush is already on, and it could spread out over more days than usual this year
12:55PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Famed 'Goonies' house for sale in coastal Astoria, Oregon
A historic home featured in the classic film “The Goonies” is for sale in Astoria, Oregon
12:53PM ( 20 minutes ago )
World Cup stunner: Saudi Arabia beats Messi's Argentina 2-1
Saudi Arabia scored one of the biggest World Cup upsets ever by beating an Argentina team led by Lionel Messi 2-1
12:49PM ( 24 minutes ago )