In a blow to nations that have backed Ukraine, the Russian Federation made a statement saying that it will limit the supply of gas to the European continent starting on Wednesday. This announcement comes just as there were expectations that economic constraints might relieve after Russia concurred to allow Ukraine into exporting grains through the Black Sea ports.
At the weekend, there was a missile attack from Russia on the Odesa Sea Port, which is the largest Ukrainian seaport, however, according to the United Nations (UN), because of an agreement made on Friday, the first ships might be able to set sail from Ukraine.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict can be said to be the largest crisis in Europe after World War 2 since it has affected not just Ukraine, but the entire continent as well as the world through rising oil prices and people of poor countries facing hunger. Furthermore, earlier this month, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, gave out a warning to the Western nations stating that sanctions ran the risk of sparking significant increases in oil prices worldwide. The dependency of Europe on Russia for energy is extremely high, right before the war Europe imported around 30% of its oil and 40% of its gas from the Russian Federation.
Saint Petersburg-based multinational energy corporation, PJSC Gazprom, made an announcement recently stating that gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany would decrease to 33 million cubic meters a day as of Wednesday, which is just around 20% of the pipeline’s total capacity, in other words, half of the present capacity which is at around 40%.
The Moscow Kremlin claims that sanctions imposed by the west and issues related to maintenance are to be blamed for limiting the gas supply. However, the European Union (EU) has charged the Russian Federation with energy extortion, and according to Germany, the latest gas cut has no technical justification.
According to European politicians, Russia may shut off the gas supply in winter this year which will lead to a recession in Germany and cause pain to people who are already suffering from skyrocketing inflation. Nevertheless, Moscow asserts that it has no intention of completely cutting off the gas supply to Europe.