Gazprom cuts off gas flow to the Netherlands
Moscow, May 31 (EFE).- The Russian state-owned company Gazprom on Tuesday said that it has cut off gas supplies to the Netherlands after Dutch energy firm GasTerra refused to pay for the fuel in rubles.
“Gazprom has completely stopped gas supplies to GasTerra due to non-payment in rubles,” the Russian gas giant wrote on Telegram.
It added that Gazprom Export “did not receive the payment for gas deliveries in April as of the close of business of May 30 (the due date stipulated in the contract).”
Poland, Bulgaria and Finland were the first countries to have their gas exports halted by Gazprom after Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree on March 31 requiring EU buyers to open both a ruble and a foreign currency account with Gazprombank to make energy purchases.
On Monday, GasTerra said that it has decided not to comply with Russia’s payment requirements, anticipating that Gazprom would suspend gas supplies starting Tuesday.
“This is because to do so would risk breaching sanctions imposed by the EU and also because there are too many financial and operational risks associated with the required payment route.” the Dutch gas trader added.
The cut-off means that the Netherlands will not receive 2 billion cubic meters of gas from May 31 to October 1, according to GasTerra.
The company, however, said that gas has already been purchased elsewhere.
More than 20 companies have opened special accounts in Gazprombank, including Italy’s ENI, Germany’s Uniper, and France’s Engie, according to Russian news agency TASS.