In the context of the current conflict between Russia and the West after the Russian attack on Ukraine, there are increasing fears that Russia may stop its gas supplies to Europe.
But most analysts believe that Russia, which exports about 40% of natural gas supplies to Europe, is not considering cutting Russian gas supplies to European countries, despite the hostile attitudes of these countries towards Russia due to the war in Ukraine. Reuter’s analysts also ruled out imposing sanctions on Russian gas imports in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
However, there remains the possibility of pipeline damage or an escalation of the situation and Russia cutting off gas transit through Ukraine, which would seriously adversely affect Europe because replacing Russian natural gas entirely is not seen as a viable option in the region, at least in the short run.
But if that happens, Europe will have to reduce its gas use, restart stalled nuclear and coal plants, and make a huge effort to maximize domestic gas production and find other sources of supply.
It is worth noting that the winter season, which extends until the end of March 2022, witnessed a rise in gas and energy prices in Europe to record levels due to the decline in gas stocks, the decline in Russian gas supplies, power outages and global competition for liquefied natural gas.
The Russian “Interfax” news agency quoted a spokesman for the Russian state-owned Gazprom, Sergei Kupriyanov, as saying that the flow of gas through the pipeline in neighboring Ukraine is “in the normal state.”
It is worth noting that Germany had suspended the approval procedures for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which links Russia and Germany across the Baltic sea.