Slovak gas utility SPP has registered around a 10% drop in the volumes of Russian gas coming to it via Ukraine, for the third day in a row, the company spokesman Peter Bednar said today.
Even though the situation in east Ukraine has calmed with a cease-fire in place and captives being exchanged etc., there are fears that come winter Russia could turn off the gas valve to Ukraine, especially as the European Union imposed yet another round of sanctions on Russia over the conflict today. The sanctions will affect also Russian gas giant Gazprom.
SPP assures customers that it will continue to provide continuous supplies of gas, but the last time Russia halted supplies to Ukraine, Ukraine took some of the gas intended for the rest of Europe. Several countries, including Slovakia, had to shut down industry and adopt other measures to get through the crisis.
This time the drop in supplies could be a kind of forewarning from Moscow in the wake of the new sanctions, as Poland received around 20% less gas from Russia on Wednesday and Germany operator E.ON also declared it had registered a smaller volume.
Gazprom explained the reduced volumes of supplied gas by saying it was doing what it could “according to the resources available for exports and for the continuing pumping to storage facilities in the Russian Federation”
Even though Slovakia has underground storage reserves and can deploy the so-called reverse flow option to get gas from the west, it has limited options if Russia were to pull the plug and if the broken relations between Russia and Western Europe take longer than hoped to be resolved. The European Union is reliant on Russia for about a third of all its gas, but Slovakia and other countries are much more dependent.
Well at least we can see this coming, better sharpen the chainsaw!
Vlad the Invader is playing games – games he can’t win. Reduced gas flow means reduced income and possible contractual issues. The Russians are close to going into recession, the rouble is toilet paper, their shops are empty, thousands stream across the borders, defying Putin and stock up on EU supplies and the EU have only turned the screws slightly.
Interesting that since the last “gas crisis”, BnM and Co, who maintain that “strategic assets and services” must be protected at all costs, have actually done jack about securing other sources of gas – wonder why? Could it be Bobby believes Slovakia has a special relationship with Russia? Chances are its the same relationship as in 1968 but BnM doesn’t see it that way. Meanwhile he makes crass statements like “NATO manned anti-missile systems on Slovak territory would be akin to the WP occupation.” History and the role of NATO are obviously not his strong points of knowledge. It’s also clear from his comment that the Ukraine situation is a struggle between the USA and Russia that his own ideology blinds him to the basic truth. The Ukrainian tragedy is as of the direct result of Russia, not the EU, USA or NATO, invading and annexing the territory of another sovereign nation in defiance of International treaties, conventions and laws and it’s continued support of an armed insurrection. But then again he’s probably got so used to disregarding treaties, conventions and laws here in Neverneverland that he believes this behaviour is the norm and acceptable. Observers have also noted that his past crutch of blaming everything on the Euro crisis has now been replaced by a new scapegoat – the Ukraine Crisis.
Whilst on the subject of individual and collective lunacy – I read a so far un-named group ( I’ll bet it’s linked in some way to SMER) has launched a petition against a NATO logistics base near Poprad. Amazing really as no firm decision has been made and no details made available for consultation.