Russia's Gazprom suspends gas supplies to Netherlands

AFP , Tuesday 31 May 2022

Russia's Gazprom said Tuesday it had halted gas supplies to the Netherlands after Dutch energy firm GasTerra refused to pay in rubles following the Russian military offensive in Ukraine.

Logo of Gasprom, Russia
An actor wearing XVIII century dress walks past a logo of Russian gas monopoly Gazprom in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, May 27, 2022. AP


"Gazprom has completely stopped gas supplies to GasTerra due to non-payment in rubles," the Russian gas giant said in a statement.

Moscow has demanded that clients from "unfriendly countries" -- including EU member states -- pay for its gas in rubles, a way to sidestep Western financial sanctions against its central bank over the Ukraine conflict.

Gazprom said that as of May 30 it had received no payments for Dutch gas supplies in April, despite notifying GasTerra that payments for gas supplied from April 1 needed to be made in rubles.

Partly state-owned GasTerra on Monday said it expected to be cut off after it "decided not to comply with Gazprom's unilateral payment requirements" as they would breach EU sanctions.

The cutoff means that two billion cubic metres of gas will not be supplied to the Netherlands between now and October, GasTerra said, adding that it "has anticipated this by purchasing gas elsewhere."

The Netherlands is the latest in a series of European countries to be hit with a cut in Russian gas, with Finland seeing its supplies severed in May.

The Dutch rely on Russia for around 15 percent of their gas supplies, amounting to some six billion cubic metres a year, the government says.

This is lower than the EU average of 40 percent, but like other European countries the Netherlands is scrambling to reduce its dependence on Russian energy.

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