Russia suspends the shipment of gas to Europe through Poland

Russia continues to use energy as a weapon. The Russian company Gazprom has decided to stop supplying gas to Europe through the Polish Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, one of the main ones. It does so hours after Finland's announcement of its intention to join NATO and just days after the G7 pledged to eliminate dependence on Russian energy in retaliation for the war.

The IMF warns that there will not be enough gas in Europe next winter if the supply from Russia is cut

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This decision, the company explained in a statement collected by AFP, "means the prohibition of using a gas pipeline belonging to the EuRoPol GAZ group to transport Russian gas via Poland." to sanctions, which means in particular for Gazprom a ban on the use of the gas pipeline owned by EuRoPol GAZ to transport Russian gas through Poland.”

Russia is Europe's leading gas supplier, with a dependency of 40% of the total. Russian gas reaches Europe through three corridors. The first flows into the eastern countries through Ukraine, while the second, precisely the one that Russia has just closed, runs more than 4,000 kilometers from Siberia to the country presided over by Putin. This gas pipeline is one of the ones with the most reserves. The third, known as the Baltic corridor, is made up of Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2. Germany halted approval of the latter gas pipeline in response to Putin's invasion.

On Wednesday the Ukrainian gas pipeline operator shut down the flow of gas from one of the two main pipelines carrying Russian gas to Europe through the country, citing interference by Russian occupation forces. Although very little gas had flowed through the Yamal-Europa pipeline in recent weeks, it is used when gas demand increases.

The economic consequences may be severe for a number of European countries. The IMF has already warned that there will not be enough gas in Europe for expected demand next winter if Russia's supply is cut off for a year as a result of the invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions. The agency explained that "a significant reduction" in consumption would be necessary in this extreme scenario and points to Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia as the countries that would suffer the greatest restrictions, due to their greater dependence on Russian gas imports and interconnection of its distribution networks with the country presided over by Vladimir Putin.

The German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister, the environmentalist Robert Habeck, announced a month ago that his country is about to give up its dependence on Russian oil, however before the invasion began, it was estimated that Germany imported something more from Russia. 50% of the gas used by German households and industry. According to Habeck's ministry, that percentage won't be shortened to mean "German independence" until well into 2024.

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