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Europe Starts to Panic, Suspects Putin Will Stop Total Gas Supply


The head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, warned that Russia might cut off gas supplies to Europe this winter. It’s not necessarily the case, but at least Europe needs to prepare a contingency plan.

Quoted from the BBC, Thursday (23/6/2022), in recent weeks, several European countries stated that they received less gas than they expected.

Meanwhile, Russian officials deny it was done intentionally and said there was a technical problem. Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Europe imported about 40% of its natural gas from Russia but that figure has now dropped to around 20%.

Birol believes Russia’s recent gas supply cuts are a strategy. That made it harder for European countries to fill their gas stores and increased Russian influence in the winter.

“I wouldn’t rule out Russia continuing to find different problems here and there, and continuing to look for excuses to reduce gas shipments to Europe and maybe even stop it completely,” Birol said.

Last week, natural gas flow through Nord Stream 1, one of the main pipelines from Russia to Europe, was only 40% of capacity. Many experts doubt the Russian explanation that this is due to technical problems. Across Europe, gas supply shortages continue to be reported.

On Friday, Italian energy company Eni said it received only half of the gas it expected from Russia’s state-controlled gas giant Gazprom. Slovakia and Austria also reported declines.

France said it had not received Russian gas from Germany since June 15. Meanwhile Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands have suspended deliveries of Russian gas after they refused requests to pay in Russian rubles.

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