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The Ukrainian transmission network operator has suspended its contractual obligations to transport gas through one of its main gas pipelines with Russia due to enemy troop activity, which could reduce flows to Europe.
Ukraine’s gas transmission system operator said transit would stop at 7 a.m. Wednesday at the Sokhranivka point along the smaller of the two pipelines that bring gas from Russia. He said he was unable to carry out operations at a border compressor station in Luhansk – an area of Ukraine that Moscow claims as an independent state – due to Russian occupation.
“The interference of the occupying forces in the technical processes and the changes in the modes of operation of the facilities of the gas transport system, including the unauthorized withdrawal of gas from the gas transit streams, have endangered the stability and security of the entire Ukrainian gas transportation system,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
Ukraine’s gas transmission system operator said nearly a third of Russian supplies passing through the country to Europe would be affected, but it would still be possible to meet the needs of its European customers by redirecting the gas to the Sudzha connection point.
The Ukrainian gas pipeline operator has previously warned that damage to the system from the war could endanger flows, but this is the first time since the invasion that it has declared a case of force majeure, underlining the risks for Russian gas supply to Europe.
Last year, EU states imported 155 billion cubic meters of Russian gas, of which about 40 billion cubic meters passed through Ukraine. Nord Stream 1, the largest pipeline from Russia to Germany, has the capacity to transport 55 billion cubic meters.
The announcement of the shutdown pushed future contracts linked to the European wholesale gas price up nearly 6% on Tuesday to nearly €100 per megawatt-hour, reversing earlier losses.
Yuriy Vitrenko, general director of Ukraine’s state-owned gas company Naftogaz, blamed the Russian side. “Gazprom has been duly informed that Ukraine is no longer responsible for the transit of gas through Russian-occupied territories,” Vitrenko said.