The International Energy Agency (IEA, for its acronym in English) believes that the reductions in gas supplies to Europe applied in recent weeks by Russia will go further. The organization believes that Russia could cut off gas supplies to Western countries entirely as he seeks to strengthen his political influence amid the invasion of Ukraine, he believes that Europe needed to prepare now. “Given this recent behavior, I would not rule out that Russia will continue to find different problems here and there and continue to find excuses to further reduce gas deliveries to Europe and perhaps even cut them off altogether,” said IEA Executive Director, Fatih Birol, in a statement sent to the Reuters agency. “This is why Europe needs contingency plans”has added.
In recent weeks, Russia has embarked on a strategy of progressive cuts in the supply of this raw material to Europe in what constitutes a new step in the escalation of the trade war declared by the West after the invasion of Ukraine. Last Tuesday, Gazprom announced a 40% reduction in its gas exports through the Nord Stream I gas pipeline, which connects Russia with Germany across the Baltic Sea. The Russian energy giant used technical problems as an excuse for the cut, stating that the German company Siemens Energy had been delayed in repairing compression turbines, something denied from Berlin. “This is obviously a strategy of Vladimir Putin to reduce our security [energética]increase prices and divide us”, said after the Russian decision Robert Habeck, vice-chancellor and minister of Economy of Germany.
Reduction of shipments
The cuts have not been limited, however, to Germany. The French gas company GRTgaz recently announced that from June 15 France had stopped receiving Russian gas via pipeline through Germany. In Italy, Eni, the country’s main energy company, has denounced a sharp decrease in Gazprom’s supply over the past week, receiving 85% of the gas requested on Wednesday, 65% on Thursday and 50% on Friday. To this is added the warning made by the Russian company that it will continue to comply with shipments only partially. And on May 20, just 48 after Finland formalized its candidacy with Sweden to join NATO, Russia announced the arrest of its natural gas shipments to Finland.
own Gazprom has recognized this week that it has sent to Europe as only 41.7 million cubic meters through Ukraine, less than half the usual amount. The Russian company’s excuse is that the Ukrainian closure of one of the two gas routes that cross the country since last May has affected supply.
In response to Russian cutbacks, countries like Germany and the Netherlands have announced that they will intensify energy production through coal-fired power plants. In the case of France, its gas purchases from Spain have reached record figures. They have also fired energy acquisitions taking advantage of the best prices resulting from the Iberian exceptionalitywhich has greatly diluted the effect of the star measure introduced by the Government to clamp down on the price of energy and consumers’ electricity bills.