Russia appears to have run out of gas supplies to Europe as a weapon of its hybrid warfare. Partly because the EU states have moved to tighten agreements with other producing countries, partly because the flows of Russian gas towards our latitudes have actually decreased. But they keep coming.
Nothing strange or unexpected, it was known that Moscow would export less energy to the EU. The latter’s objective is to emancipate itself completely but gradually from Russian supplies, which have been kept alive for fear of a energy, industrial and social crisis with potentially catastrophic effects. Despite the reduction in flows and the study of a total embargoHowever, European states continue to receive the gas Gazprom through the pipelines that pass under Ukraine. Waiting for the announced, and ever closer, energy independence from Moscow.
Here we explained why Europe is (still) paying dearly for saying goodbye to Russian gas.
Europe continues to buy Russian gas from Gazprom, supplied via Ukraine
The cut in Russian supplies concerns both imports via pipeline and those of LNG (liquefied natural gas). Better to understand on this point: we always talk about tens of millions of cubic meters of gas per daywhich fell from 174.8 million in 2022 and from 77.6 million in 2023 to 40.7 million cubic meters at the beginning of 2024. The latter data relates in particular to the quantity transited on 2 January 2024 through the gas pipelines of Ukraine. Yes, because despite the war the country continues to guarantee the passage through its territory of the raw materials sold by its invading enemy. On January 3, the volume of Russian gas reaching the EU remained roughly stable, although slightly lower: 37.3 million cubic meters.
Transit is guaranteed by Sudzha gas pumping station and the amount of gas passing through it is established by the Ukrainian authorities. Under the attentive and paternal gaze of the EU and the USA, of course. In 2022 Kiev also made a loud statement towards Moscow via Nafthogaz, the operator of the gas transportation system of Ukraine. As reported Defense Analysisthe company said it would suspend the flow of gas to Europe via the Sokhranovka junction due to “force majeure”, as he was unable to control the gas compressor station Novopskovin Lugansk.
We were talking about Russian LNG exports. Gazprom’s natural gas supplies also fell: -55.6% in 2023, according to Reuters data from European gas transportation group Entsog. Europe’s growing demand for LNG has been met primarily by United Statesas well as from Qatar And Australia. However, Brussels’ intent is to close the taps completely. The EU institutions are in fact working to finalize the legislation that would allow Member States to completely ban Russian gas imported via pipelines and LNGnearly two years since Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine prompted the bloc to begin shedding Russian hydrocarbons.
Europe risks becoming dependent on China after the farewell to Russian gas.
EU towards the gas embargo from Russia
Only in November the Bank of Italy had raised the alarm on the progressive reduction of Russian gas supplies, underlining that the consequent negative effects are greater and more long-lasting than those of oil. Analysts and EU officials believe that the legislation could allow for a gradual reduction to zero without major impacts on the European market. What is certain is that the European Union is preparing the legislative path, for the first time since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, for a total embargo on Russian gas.
All obviously respecting the gods stakes, established by the EU itself. The first stipulates that Russian supplies be set aside in a “proportionate and targeted manner” by the Member States. Translated: as reported by the Financial Times, this plant gives the companies of the Old Continent a legal basis for canceling contracts with Russian suppliers of gas without paying large compensations. The EU’s long and deep-rooted period dependent on Russian gas could therefore soon come to an end.