Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky lashed out at Russia for cutting gas supplies to Europe. He called it “gas blackmail” and questioned Russia’s intentions behind the move. He warned of an imminent “Gas War”, saying that Russia was using gas cuts to make the lives of Europeans miserable.
His comments came as Gazprom reduced gas supplies to Germany. The Russian energy supplier stated that the cut was necessary for turbine maintenance. Russia supplies gas to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
Russia had downgraded the supply earlier this month, citing maintenance. Now, they’re saying that the supply will reduce to half to help with maintenance work.
This comes from the backdrop of the Ukraine-Russia war. The price of gas has seen volatility because of these supply chain issues and cuts. Russia has blamed western sanctions for the price fluctuations in gas.
Europe faces uncertainty in gas supplies, and they have already taken action on this. EU criticized Russia for the “gas war” to intimidate Europe. EU energy ministers met in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss a joint solution for the crisis.
They proposed that EU member states voluntarily reduce energy consumption by 15% in the next seven months. They also discussed ways to move away from Russian gas.
All the member states don’t agree on this resolution since gas supplies from Russia are already low. Any further reduction will make it tough to ensure gas supplies in the coming winter months.
Member states will have to mandatorily comply in case of any crisis. The President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, has warned about this crisis. She said that there is a high possibility of Russia completely closing down gas supplies.
It’ll be tough for the EU to fight this gas war since 40% of its supply comes from Russia. Finding a cheap alternative will take months of mutual deliberation.
The Ukraine – Russia war is still raging. Ukraine hoped that an UN-brokered deal with Russia would restart grain exports. Instead, grain exports are on hold after Russia gained control of the Black Sea.