World Russia’s Gazprom cuts gas supplies to Latvia over ‘violation’

Russia’s Gazprom cuts gas supplies to Latvia over ‘violation’

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A Gazprom office in St. Petersburg, Russia, on July 21. Gazprom said Saturday that it would cut gas supplies to
Latvia over allegations that the country had violated its contract terms. File Photo by Anatoly Maltsev/EPA-EFE

July 30 (BP) — Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom said Saturday that it would cut gas supplies to Latvia over allegations that the country had violated its contract terms.

“Today Gazprom stopped gas supplies to Latvia,” the company said in a statement to Telegram, adding that the decision was made “due to violation of the conditions for gas withdrawal.”

The decision from Gazprom comes just days after the company said it would further slash the amount of natural gas it supplies to Germany through the Nord Stream pipeline.

Gas flows to Germany had already been slowed to 40% of capacity after an annual maintenance shutdown earlier this month.

Gazprom, in its statement, blamed problems with the engine of a turbine made by Siemens at the Portovaya compressor station for the reduction.

However, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection said in a statement that “there is no technical reason for a reduction in gas deliveries” and that no sanctions stemming from Russia’s war in Ukraine were preventing their imports.

Russia provided 55% of Germany’s natural gas supply before the invasion of Ukraine but that number has significantly dropped since, The New York Times reported, leaving German officials concerned about the country’s supply before winter.

Gazprom has already reduced or entirely stopped deliveries of gas to a dozen European Union countries including Poland and Bulgaria for refusing to pay in rubles, which Russia had demanded in retaliation for sanctions that have been placed on the country for invading Ukraine.

The EU announced Tuesday it will start rationing natural gas in the face of Russia’s pullback on energy.

Latvia has been a vocal critic of the war in Ukraine and Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs on Saturday condemned the “brutal murder of Ukrainian POWs by Russian Armed Forces in Olenivka and ongoing atrocities committed by the Russian military against Ukraine.”

“EU must consider Russia as state sponsor of terrorism,” Rinkēvičs said. “I reiterate proposal to impose EU tourist visa ban for Russian citizens.”

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