Von der Leyen says Russia has cut gas supplies to 12 EU countries

The head of the European Commission did not specify what kind of countries. She admitted that supplies would stop completely, and accused Russia of unleashing an “energy war” against the EU webp 673w” type=”image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >< source srcset="https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/resized/1200xH/media/img/7/55/756591909561557.jpg 1200w" media="(min-resolution: 192dpi)" >

Ursula von der Leyen

Russia “deliberately cut off supplies” gas to 12 EU countries, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in an interview with Diario de Noticias.

She did not specify which countries she had in mind. Von der Leyen did not rule out a complete cessation of the flow of Russian gas and urged to prepare for “further failures.” She called Moscow's actions an “energy war,” which, she said, “creates difficulties.” for residents of European countries.

After Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia because of a special operation in Ukraine, Moscow developed a new scheme for paying for gas with “unfriendly states”, obliging them to pay in rubles. Some EU countries (Bulgaria, Poland, Latvia and others) refused to pay for gas in Russian currency, and Gazprom stopped deliveries there.

In June Gazprom reduced supplies via Nord Stream, citing a delay in sending a Siemens turbine to Russia, which was being repaired in Canada and could not be returned due to anti-Russian sanctions. Ottawa, at the request of Berlin, agreed to transfer the turbine for Nord Stream to Germany, but from there the unit has not yet been transported to Russia, because the Russian side, fearing sanctions, did not give official consent to this. Now the company supplies only 33 million cubic meters through the pipeline. m of gas per day out of the planned 167 million.

Against this background, energy prices rose in Europe, and the authorities of the EU countries started talking about the threat of an energy crisis and insufficient gas reserves for the winter. Denmark and the Netherlands have introduced the first level of the emergency alert regime in gas supply due to possible interruptions in supplies. The second warning level is valid in Germany. Hungary declared a state of emergency in the energy sector in July.

On July 26, the EU countries came to a “political agreement” on a voluntary reduction in gas consumption by 15% compared to the average for the past five years. The measure will be in effect from August 1, 2022 until the end of March 2023. Countries will decide for themselves exactly how to reduce gas consumption.

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Von der Leyen, in an interview with a Portuguese publication, noted that this agreement will become binding if Russia completely cuts off gas supplies to Europe.

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