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30 Jul, 2022 07:11

Russia halts gas supply to Baltic state

Gazprom has accused Latvia of contract breaches
Russia halts gas supply to Baltic state

Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Saturday that it has stopped deliveries to Latvia due to “violations of the terms of gas extraction.”

This week, Aigars Kalvitis, chairman of gas company Latvijas Gaze, told the media that his country continued to buy Russian natural gas even after refusing to comply with Moscow’s ruble payment demand. “Latvijas Gaze is buying gas now, but we don’t buy gas from Gazprom because we can’t pay Gazprom. We have another supplier,” he said. Kalvitis added that Latvijas Gaze was paying for the gas in euros.

Earlier this month, the Latvian parliament placed a ban on Russian natural gas imports starting January 1, 2023.

The news comes at a time when the EU is looking for ways to phase out Russian gas in response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, which was launched in late February.

Russia has insisted that European countries switch to paying for gas in rubles, after the EU froze Russian assets abroad as part of the sweeping sanctions on Moscow.

On July 21, Gazprom resumed deliveries to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline, following a ten-day suspension due to maintenance. The repaired Siemens turbine required for the pipeline’s operation had been held up in Canada until Ottawa allowed it to be returned to Germany.

On Wednesday, however, Nord Stream 1 operator Gascade reported that gas flow through the pipeline had been reduced to one-fifth of its maximum capacity. The day before, Gazprom warned that it would stop the operation of a second Siemens turbine, as the pumping equipment was due for an overhaul.