Zelelsnki Launches Energy War On Europe. On Behalf Of The US

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Ukraine cuts some Russian gas flow to Europe, threatening energy supply

Ukraine and Russia clashed over natural gas sent via pipelines to Europe in a dispute that could disrupt supplies from the former Soviet Union nation for the first time since the war started.

The Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine said Russian gas flowing via one of two key entry points will stop from Wednesday as occupying forces disrupt operations, according to a statement on its website.

The network manager said the fuel could still be rerouted to avoid a supply interruption. But Russian gas giant Gazprom PJSC said the switch is not possible because of how its system works.

Russia has been sending gas via Ukraine normally despite the conflict, but Kyiv had already warned Russia that the actions of its troops and occupiers in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine could end up halting about a third of the gas it exports to Europe.

Ukraine’s gas network manager said on Tuesday that it cannot meet its contractual obligations to receive Gazprom supplies via the Sokhranivka border point.

A Gazprom spokesman said the company was notified by Ukraine of the pending disruption, but did not receive any confirmation of force majeure.

European gas traders remain on edge even though prices have eased recently thanks to a steady stream of liquefied natural gas cargoes arriving in the region and warm weather.

Russia supplied about 40 per cent of the European Union’s gas demand last year, and about a third of that was sent via Ukraine, making it a linchpin in the continent’s energy security.

European gas prices surged as much as 8.1 per cent, reversing earlier losses. Prices then pared gains to close 5 per cent higher at €98.8 (US$104) a megawatt-hour.

Ukraine’s gas grid said it can no longer accept Russian gas transit via Sokhranivka from 7am local time. It added that flows could be rerouted via Sudzha, a suggestion Gazprom rejected.

“Ukraine doesn’t bear responsibility for gas transit via Russia-occupied territories and Gazprom was properly informed about that,” Ukrainian state-run energy company Naftogaz said in a statement on its website.

Naftogaz said it offered to reroute the gas, a switch that it said presents no technical difficulties and does not involve additional costs for Russia

Ukraine can guarantee the safe transport of gas only via territory it controls, which is why it offered to reroute, Naftogaz said.

Sokhranivka and Sudzha are two key points on the border between Russia and Ukraine that receive flows from Gazprom for transit to Europe.

As of Tuesday, 27 per cent of the flows went through Sokhranivka, with the rest passing through Sudzha.

Gazprom said it sees no issue continuing to send gas via Ukraine as usual, and that it is meeting all obligations to European clients.

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