Gazprom, the Russian energy giant Gazprom, has announced that it has stopped gas supplies to Latvia. This is the latest EU country to be affected by such an action due to tensions over Ukraine.
Gazprom claimed Latvia had violated conditions of purchase, but did not provide details.
Latvia is dependent on Russia for its natural gas imports. However, gas makes up only 26% of its energy needs.
In the meantime, Ukraine claims it has killed 170 Russian soldiers in the last 24 hours and struck arms dumps in Kherson.
The Ukrainian government has intensified efforts to force the Russians from Kherson, a strategic south-central city. The BBC could not verify the latest claims made by Ukraine.
According to the UK Ministry of Defence, Russian forces may have established two pontoon bridges as well as a ferry system in order to resupply Kherson after Ukrainian rockets destroyed key bridges across the Dnipro River.
EU states accuse Russia that it weaponized gas exports as a retaliation against the severe Western sanctions imposed on its invasion of Ukraine.
As Russia has been long viewed as a potential threat to the region, NATO has increased its forces in Latvia and its Baltic neighbors Estonia and Lithuania.
Large numbers of Baltic minorities are made up of ethnic Russians. These states, which were once part of the Soviet Union, plan to stop importing Russian gaz next year.
Gazprom cut its gas supplies to Europe via Nord Stream Pipeline on Wednesday by 20% to around 20% of its capacity.
Russia’s demand for member states to pay Gazprom gas in Russian rubles, not euros, is rejected by the EU. The EU claims that there is no contractual requirement for rouble payments.
Latvijas Gaze, Latvia’s gas utility, stated Thursday that it was purchasing Russian gas and paying in euros.
Gazprom suspended gas supplies to the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Finland and Poland after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. The tightening sanctions by the West has also led to Gazprom suspending gas deliveries to the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Denmark, and Poland. This was due not paying in roubles. Russia also stopped gas sales to Shell Energy Europe, Germany.
The EU is currently trying to increase gas imports from other countries, including from Norway, Qatar, and the USA.
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