Tue, 05 Jul 2022

France has not received any pipelined natural gas from Russia since 15 June, network operator GRTgaz said Friday, after Russian energy giant Gazprom warned this week it would sharply cut deliveries to Europe.

Gazprom said the supply reductions via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline are due to repair work, saying equipment being refurbished in Canada was stuck there because of Western sanctions.

But EU officials believe Moscow is punishing allies of Ukraine, where Russian forces launched an invasion in February.

Macron met Ukraine's President Zelensky in Kiev on Thursday and praised Ukrainians for their "heroism" in the face of Russia's action.

France gets around 17 percent of its gas from Russia through network connections with Germany, which relies heavily on Russian supplies and has criticised Gazprom's move as "political".

Supplies had already been reduced by 60 percent since the beginning of this year, sending prices soaring.

But GRTgaz said there was no risk to existing French supplies, with reserves at 56 percent capacity compared with 50 percent in June in normal circumstances.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, France and other countries have increased gas imports from Spain via pipeline while also stepping up purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) that arrives by ship.

Much of the LNG is still coming from Russia, with France currently one of the country's largest buyers, according to a report this week from the Finland-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

Italy's Eni said it will receive only 50 percent of the gas requested Friday from the Russian energy giant.

Italy had accused the Russian state-backed Gazprom of peddling "lies" over a series of cuts.

Germany and Italy have denounced the supply reductions as a way of increasing the price of Russian gas.

Gas prices, already high, shot up on Friday. The Dutch TTF Natural Gas Price Index, the reference in Europe, showed gas had gone up by 61 percent since 13 June.

(with AFP)

Read also:

Is the EU's €300 billion plan to get rid of Russian gas good against global warming? Gazprom to halt Russian gas deliveries to Poland, Bulgaria

Originally published on RFI

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