Russia suspends its gas deliveries to Latvia

Russian gas company Gazprom announced on Saturday that it had cut its deliveries to Latvia. A new episode of Russian-Western tensions around the conflict in Ukraine.

Le Monde with AFP

Latvia’s turn to be cut access to Russian gas. The Russian gas group Gazprom announced on Saturday July 30 that it has suspended its gas deliveries to Latvia, against the backdrop of Russian-Western tensions due to the conflict in Ukraine and the unprecedented European sanctions against Russia. “Today, Gazprom has suspended its gas deliveries to Latvia (…), due to the violation of gas direct debit conditions,” the Russian company announced in a statement on Telegram, without giving more details.

This announcement occurs while Gazprom has drastically reduced its Russian gas deliveries to Europe by the North Stream gas pipeline, arguing the need to maintain a turbine, when European countries are trying to Fill their reserves for winter.

Russia had already reduced the volume of its deliveries twice in June, saying that the pipeline could not work normally without a turbine, which was in repair in Canada and had not been returned to Russia because of Sanctions imposed by Westerners following the Russian assault against Ukraine. Since then, Germany and Canada have agreed to return the equipment to Russia, but the turbine has not yet been delivered.

Westerners accuse Moscow of using the energy weapon in retaliation for the sanctions adopted after the offensive against Ukraine. The Kremlin ensures, for its part, that the sanctions are behind technical problems of the gas infrastructure and that Europe therefore suffers from the measures it imposes on Russia.

“The maintenance process of technical devices is made extremely difficult by the sanctions adopted by Europe,” said Vladimir Putin spokesman Dmitri Peskov, while ensuring that Gazprom remained “a reliable guarantor of his obligations “and delivered” as much as necessary and as much as possible “.

a plan to prevent the risks of shortage

Russia was struck by several Western sanctions salvas after its military intervention in Ukraine launched on February 24. Russian gas exports to Europe, notably to Germany and Italy, have been down constant since the start of these sanctions. Gazprom also interrupted its gas deliveries to several European customers who refused to pay in rubles: Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands.

The Baltic States have ceased to import Russian gas to 1 er April, according to the Latvian storage company Conseusus Baltic Grid. Friday, the Latton Merchant in natural gas Latvijas Gaze announced that he had resumed his gas purchases from Russia, without specifying his suppliers and ensuring that he paid for his deliveries in euros.

According to official data on gas flows published by the Conseseus company, gas deliveries to the Latvian gas pipeline have increased sharply since July 21, before stopping suddenly on Friday July 29.

To try to prevent the risks of shortages this winter, the 27 EU member countries have agreed on Tuesday on a plan providing that each country does “everything possible” to reduce, by March 2023, its gas consumption of at least 15 % compared to the average of the last five years over the same period. Russia represented until last year some 40 % of EU gas imports.

/Media reports.