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Europe is “difficult to breathe” because Russia tightens its grip on gas

Gas prices in Europe have jumped 12% as many buyers worry about the growing threat to Europe’s gas supplies due to its heavy reliance on Russia. Russia has cut off supplies to Bulgaria and Poland while many other European countries are racing to fill dwindling gas reserves before winter.

According to Reuters news agency, Russia on May 11 imposed sanctions, mostly on Gazprom’s European subsidiaries including Gazprom Germania, an energy trading, storage and transportation enterprise that Germany commissioned last month to secure the supply.

Europe has

Gas pipeline at Atamanskaya station in Amur region – Russia. Photo: Reuters

Moscow authorities also imposed sanctions on the owner of a part of the Yamal-Europe pipeline in Poland, which transports Russian gas to Europe.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was not possible to have relations with the affected companies and that they could not participate in the supply of Russian gas.

The affected entities, listed on the Russian government website, are largely based in countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia for its military campaign in Ukraine, most of which are members of the Russian Federation. European Union (EU).

Europe is

Gazprom Germania logo at its headquarters in Berlin – Germany. Photo: Reuters

Germany, Russia’s top customer in Europe, said some subsidiaries of Gazprom Germania are not receiving gas due to sanctions.

The list of affected facilities also includes Germany’s largest gas storage facility at Rehden in Lower Saxony, with 4 billion cubic meters of gas.3 capacity and is operated by Astora, as well as the gas distribution company Wingas.

Meanwhile, Russian gas flows to Germany continue to pass through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline under the Baltic Sea.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Russia’s measures appeared to be aimed at boosting prices, but a 3% supply drop from Russia could still be offset in the market, albeit at a higher cost.

Gas prices in the Netherlands rose 20% before closing the session up more than 12%. Gas prices have skyrocketed over the past year, adding to the burden on households and businesses.

Although Germany’s gas reserves are about 40% full, this is still low for the year and inventories need to be stored in preparation for winter.

Moscow’s sanctions come just a day after Ukraine suspended Russian gas transit routes to Europe, accusing Russian forces of controlling the region. This is the first time gas exports through Ukraine have been interrupted since Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine.

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