Russia’s state-owned Gazprom has halved gas supplies to Slovakia. The Slovak authorities have one thing in mind that the gas can be stopped completely and stocks are filled, writes the Polish edition of Euractiv.
The Russians have officially notified the Slovak state-owned company SPP, Slovakia’s main importer and distributor of gas, that it will halve supplies. In recent days, the amount of gas coming from Russia has been declining, falling to two-thirds of normal volumes.
In practice, the reduced quantities mean that the Russian state-owned company has stopped fulfilling its contractual obligations unilaterally. The management of SPP announces that even with reduced deliveries, the company’s activity will not be disrupted.
“We are considering the possibility of turning off the tap completely.” – commented the Deputy General Director Richard Prokipczak. In May, the SPP opened a Russian ruble account with Gazprombank, in line with Moscow’s requirements.
There is no official information whether the Slovaks paid in rubles on the open account. Due to the lack of payment in rubles, the gas for Poland, Bulgaria and Finland was stopped earlier. The European Commission has acknowledged payments in rubles for potential violations of its sanctions against Russia.
Slovakia, meanwhile, is trying to diversify its gas supplies. In recent months, Bratislava has signed contracts to import gas from the North Sea.
At the end of May, the interconnector between Slovakia and Poland was completed, which will allow gas to be pumped in both directions, and the flow from Poland to Slovakia is up to 4.7 billion cubic meters per year. Slovakia is also looking for opportunities to supply liquefied natural gas.
Thanks to all efforts, Bratislava has managed to accumulate some reserves, and according to Prokipczak, they will be increased. Until July 10, Slovak storage facilities are expected to have gas for the entire next heating season, even in the event of a complete cessation of gas supplies from Russia. Currently, the country’s repositories are 52 percent full.
On Saturday Gazprom has announced that it is stopping for prevention the two pipes of the Turkish Stream.