File photo AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, file Russia has again reduced gas supplies to Europe
The export of Russian raw materials to Slovakia and Italy has been halved, and France, following the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Bulgaria, is completely deprived of gas from the Russian Federation
On Friday, the Russian authorities implemented another cut in natural gas exports to Europe. According to the Associated Press, supplies to Slovakia and Italy are halving, and to France – completely.
Thus, Friday, June 17, was the third day in a row when Moscow sharply reduced the volume of its gas exports, which led to a jump energy prices around the world. Earlier, the Russian authorities reduced gas supplies to Germany, Austria and a number of Eastern European countries.
Despite the fact that Moscow cited technical problems with the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, allegedly due to EU sanctions against Russia, as one of the reasons for the decrease in pumping, the leaders of Germany and Italy regarded these actions of the Kremlin as a malicious step in response to Western condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the assistance that European states provide to Kyiv.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also called the gas shutdown “blackmail both against individual countries and against Europe as a whole.”
For many European countries, the loss of Russian gas means serious problems with electricity and heating of buildings. For example, Italy used to cover 40% of its gas needs at the expense of Russia. Now, the Italian authorities, like the governments of other EU countries, have to look for alternative sources, for example, in Algeria and the Middle East.
France, writes the AP, is in a less difficult situation: although the gas lines from Russia were completely blocked for France, the share of this raw material in French energy was only 16%, and before the onset of cold weather, the country has the opportunity to reorient its economy.