Amid hostilities between Moscow and the West over the situation in Ukraine, and extensive European and U.S. penalties against Russia, Russian energy company Gazprom cut off fuel supplies to Latvia on Saturday.
It’s Heating Up
The announcement came a day after Russia and Kyiv traded accusations of bombing a prisoner-of-war camp for Ukrainian soldiers in territory controlled by Russia.
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, more than 50 people were killed in an attack, which he called a terrorist act.
According to breaches of the terms of the contract, “Gazprom halted its gas shipments to Latvia today,” the firm wrote on Telegram.
On Wednesday, Gazprom sharply reduced gas supplies to Europe through the Nord Stream line to around 20% of its potential.
Gazprom has halted the supply of gas to Latvia due to "violations of the terms of gas extraction".
— The Sirius Report (@thesiriusreport) July 30, 2022
The government-run Russian corporation previously declared it would reduce supply to 33 million cubic meters per day, or half of what it has been supplying, since service was restored this week after a ten-day maintenance period.
In response to western sanctions against Moscow’s war in Ukraine, EU member states have blamed Russia for restricting supplies.
One of the pipeline’s last two operation turbines has been closed, according to Gazprom, because of the “technical state of the engine.”
The smaller supply has been blamed on EU sanctions by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“Technical pump capabilities are declining and becoming increasingly constrained. Why? So restrictions that Europe enacted make it very difficult to maintain technological gadgets,” Peskov added.
“Gazprom was and is a trustworthy guarantee of its commitments. However, if the imported equipment cannot be serviced, due to European restrictions, it cannot ensure the extraction of gas, he said.
During the week, the European Union approved a plan to cut back on gas use in sympathy with Berlin, where the Nord Stream line ends, and issued a warning against Russian “blackmail.”
Russia’s Defense Department charged Ukraine on Friday with using long-range missiles provided by the US to attack a jail in Russian-controlled territory.
Russia said this was an obvious incitement meant to prevent captive soldiers from turning themselves in.
Thank You Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, & Latvia, who to defend democracy & to #ArmUkraine willingly gave up buying Russian gas & oil. Arsonist Germany still demands all EU partners suffer for 🇩🇪’s *3 decades* of “failed policy.” pic.twitter.com/pI3tKe4I1f
— andi | 🇺🇸🇺🇦🇱🇹🇧🇾 🐕🛹 (@theAndiL) July 26, 2022
According to the report, among the dead were Ukrainian forces that capitulated after enduring weeks of ferocious Russian bombing of the massive Azovstal steel plant in the coastal city of Mariupol.
Zelensky assigned sole responsibility to Russia.
In his daily speech to the country late Friday, Zelensky declared, “This was a purposeful Russian terrorist act, a premeditated mass execution of Ukrainian war prisoners.”
Zelensky said the United Nations, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross, mediated an accord for the Azovstal militants to lay down their weapons that contained assurances for their safety and health.
In addition, Zelensky pleaded with the international community, particularly the US, to formally designate Russia as a terrorist state.