Ukraine to suspend Russian gas pipeline to Europe

Ukraine to suspend Russian gas pipeline to Europe
# 11 May 2022 09:36 (UTC +04:00)

Ukraine has said it will suspend the flow of gas through a transit point which it says delivers almost a third of the fuel piped from Russia to Europe through Ukraine, blaming Moscow for the move and saying it would move the flows elsewhere, APA reports citing Reuters.

Ukraine has remained a major transit route for Russian gas to Europe even throughout Russia’s war in Ukraine.

GTSOU, which operates Ukraine’s gas system, said it would stop shipments via the Sokhranivka route from Wednesday, declaring “force majeure”, a clause invoked when a business is hit by something beyond its control, Reuters reports.

But Gazprom, which has a monopoly on Russian gas exports by pipeline, said it was “technologically impossible” to shift all volumes to the Sudzha interconnection point further west, as GTSOU proposed.

GTSOU CEO Sergiy Makogon told Reuters that Russian occupying forces had started taking gas transiting through Ukraine and sending it to two Russia-backed separatist regions in the country’s east. He did not cite evidence.

The company said it could not operate at the Novopskov gas compressor station due to “the interference of the occupying forces in technical processes”, adding it could temporarily shift the affected flow to the Sudzha physical interconnection point located in territory controlled by Ukraine.

Ukraine’s suspension of Russian natural gas flows through the Sokhranivka route should not have an impact on the domestic Ukrainian market, state energy firm Naftogaz head Yuriy Vitrenko told Reuters.

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