Gazprom says Ukraine is diverting Moldova’s gas supplies and threatens cuts

Gazprom says Ukraine is diverting Moldova’s gas supplies and threatens cuts


Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Tuesday that Ukraine was diverting natural gas supplies to Moldova and threatened to cut supplies through a key pipeline to Europe in response.

The allegations are the latest point of tension in energy supplies between Kyiv, European capitals and Moscow, which has cut supplies to Europe in response to Western sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.

“The amount of gas that Gazprom supplies for transit to Moldova via Ukraine is larger than the physical amount transported at the Ukraine-Moldova border,” Gazprom said in a statement.

The Saint Petersburg-based company said Ukraine obstructed the delivery of 52.52 million cubic meters to Moldova and threatened cuts in response.

“Should the transit imbalance through Ukraine persist for Moldovan consumers, Gazprom will start reducing gas supplies from 10:00 a.m. on November 28,” through a key transit point for supplies to Europe, the company said.

Ukraine denied the allegations, saying that all gas volumes tied to Moldovan consumers had been transferred “in full”.

“By threatening to reduce the volumes of gas transportation to Moldova, Gazprom is trying to deprive that country of the opportunity to use Ukraine’s gas transmission system (GTS),” Olga Bielkova, a representative of Ukraine’s GTS operator, said in a statement.

“This is not the first time that Russia has resorted to gas as a tool of political pressure,” she said.

“She is manipulating facts to justify her decision to further limit the volume of gas supplies to European countries.”

The threats come at a precarious time for energy security in Europe, which has been scrambling to fill gas storage before winter.

Ukraine is suffering from a severe energy crisis after weeks of Russian strikes on its power grid, which have also led to power outages in neighboring Moldova.

Chisinau’s pro-European President Maia Sandu has warned that her country of 2.6 million people, sandwiched between Romania and conflict-torn Ukraine, faces a risk of gas and electricity shortages this winter.

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