Russia Threatens to Cut Off Gas to Netherlands, Denmark

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Natural gas supplies have been cut off to the Netherlands from Russia today, and Denmark could soon be next, making the pair the latest European countries to have their natural gas supply from Russia cut off. 

The Dutch gas trading firm GasTerra and Danish energy company Orsted warned Russia could turn off its supply of natural gas as soon as today because they refused to make payments to Russia in rubles. Weeks before, Moscow cut off supplies to Poland, Bulgaria, and Finland for the same reason. 

Gazprom said today it has fully suspended gas supplies to the Netherlands. 

GasTerra said Gazprom discontinued gas deliveries beginning today. This means that about 2 billion cubic meters of contracted gas will go undelivered between now and the beginning of October. 

In neighboring country Denmark, Orsted is also warning that the natural gas supply from Russia will son too be cut because they are also refusing to pay in rubles. The payment deadline is today. Orsted said it has no legal obligation to pay in rubles in its contract with Russian state energy giant Gazprom. Orsted said it would continue to pay in euros. 

Orstred said furthermore that there is a risk that Gazprom will stop supplying gas to Orsted, which would be a breach of contract. 

About two percent of the Netherlands’ total energy, and about four percent of Denmark’s total energy, comes from Russian gas. 

In March as a counter to Western sanctions against Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to cut gas deliveries to “unfriendly” countries that refused to pay in rubles. Standard contracts dictate that the countries pay in euros or dollars. 

Since then, Gazprom has said that countries could make euro or dollar payments into an account at Russia’s Gazprombank, and then the bank would convert the funds into rubles and transfer them to a second account from which the payment to Russia would be made. 

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