Gazprom says European requirements being met after…
Should the West be worried? Russian gas pipeline starts flowing BACKWARDS taking fuel out of Germany as Biden warns Putin not to use resources as a weapon – while troop movements near Ukraine alarm intelligence officials
- Gas supplies in a major Russian pipeline started to move in reverse yesterday
- Supplies in Yamal-Europe pipeline via Poland to Germany had come to a halt
- But energy firm Gazprom said all European requirements were being met
- Kremlin has faced accusations of restricting gas supplies for political purposes
President Joe Biden has warned Vladimir Putin not to weaponise natural resources for political purposes after Russian gas pipeline starting flowing backwards out of Germany.
Fuel supplies in the Yamal – Europe pipeline with goes from Russia to Germany via Poland had come to halt on Saturday, with the direction of gas actually reversing.
But energy firm Gazprom played down concerns saying that all European orders were being fulfilled.
One Russian news media report even suggested the flow reversal was a short-term problem caused by balmy weather in Germany over the weekend.
Russian troops movements near Ukraine have also caused concern among some US and European intelligence officials, according to the New York Times.
Videos posted on social media show large numbers of tanks and soldiers being moved from Siberia towards Ukraine. The elite 1st Guards Tank Army has also appeared to move to the region.
Similar movements for a large scale Russian exercise caused similar alarm last year, but this time no exercise is scheduled.
Videos posted on social media show large numbers of tanks and soldiers being moved from Siberia towards Ukraine.
President Joe Biden has warned Vladimir Putin not to weaponise natural resources for political purposes after Russian gas pipeline starting flowing backwards out of Germany
Fuel supplies in the Yamal – Europe pipeline with goes from Russia to Germany via Poland had come to halt on Saturday, with the direction of gas actually reversing
The supply drop comes amid an explosion in gas prices across Europe, and accusations that the Kremlin is restricting gas supplies for political purposes.
There are also suggestions Russia is pushing the EU to approve a controversial new pipeline, Nordstream 2, that would bring gas from Russia directly to Germany, bypassing Eastern Europe.
US President Biden last night met outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the fringe of the G20 summit in Rome to discuss the manipulation of natural gas flows.
A White House source said the leaders were meeting to underscore the importance of ‘ensuring that Russia cannot manipulate natural gas flows for harmful political purposes’.
A White House source said the leaders were meeting to underscore the importance of ‘ensuring that Russia cannot manipulate natural gas flows for harmful political purposes’. Pictured: Russian President Putin attended the G20 summit virtually
Russia sends gas to western Europe by several different routes, including through Belarus and Poland using the Yamal – Europe pipeline, which has an annual capacity of up to 33 billion cubic metres.
Flows at the Mallnow metering point in Germany, which lies at the Polish border, stopped early on Saturday, according to data from Germany’s Gascade operator.
Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom said the requests of customers in Europe were being met. It added that fluctuations in demand for Russian gas were dependent on the actual needs of buyers.
A spokesman for Poland’s state-controlled PGNiG said flows from the east were much lower than usual, but Poland was still receiving amounts consistent with its contract.
Russia has linked easing Europe’s gas crisis with approving the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (top), but experts say the Kremlin already has plenty of capacity to boost supplies without bringing the new route online (pictured)
Poland’s gas grid operator Gaz-System said on Saturday the Yamal pipeline was delivering gas to Poland via the Kondratki compressor station on the east and Mallnow on the west through ‘reverse mode’ – meaning it was shipping gas from west to east.
‘There is no demand for gas transit towards Germany currently,’ a Gaz-System spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement.
Russian gas export flows have been closely watched as gas prices in Europe have soared amid economic recovery and low inventories.
Gazprom has been accused by the International Energy Agency and some European lawmakers of not doing enough to increase its natural gas supplies to Europe, but the Russian company has said it has been meeting its contractual obligations.
A gas transit deal between Russia and Poland expired last year, but Gazprom can book the transit capacity via the pipeline at auctions.
At the last auction on October 18, Gazprom booked some 32 million cubic metres per day, or 35 per cent of total additional capacity offered by the Polish operator Gas System for transit via the Kondratki transit point for November.