Russia’s gas weapon right on time

One headache of the European Union could become true in the next days as an impending cut of Russian gas supplies through Ukraine would hit Europe at a critical time. Gazprom announced that it will stop the transfer of gas to and through Ukraine if the country won’t pay for deliveries within the next two days.

A stop of gas delivery to Ukraine would also affect gas supply in the European Union. Roughly one third of Europe’s gas imports come from Russia and half of that are transferred through Ukraine. Already in 2014 Europe feared the cut of Russian gas supplies which would have led to shortages in several EU countries. At that time it could be prevented.

Currently for example Germany’s gas storage is the lowest for four years as a request of the German Green Party revealed. In the beginning of February German gas storage of totally 20 Billion cubic meter was only at a 54 % level while at the same time in 2014 it was 64,5 % and 2012 67,85 %. The German gas storage is on a low level, because suppliers are waiting for a falling gas price that follows the oil price with several months delay. If Russia should stop gas transfers through Ukraine Bärbel Höhn, MP of the German Green Party, expects supply shortages in Germany for March. It is to be expected that other European countries could face the same problem unless they have a national plan to ensure a certain minimum level of gas storage.

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