Slovakia has apparently started stocking up its underground gas storage reservoirs in anticipation of Russia pulling the plug on gas supplies via Ukraine, as an impending conflict and potential civil unrest hangs on the illegitimate Crimea referendum this weekend.
Russian gas accounts for about one third of gas supplies to the European Union, with Slovakia’s transmission pipelines the single biggest transmission route for the gas to Europe, via Ukraine.
With concerns rising, Slovakia has purchased gas from Germany received from the Czech Republic using the reverse flow option the pipelines now offer. Reverse flow was introduced last time Russia turned off the gas valve a few winters ago, when companies in Slovakia had to stop operations as the whole country, and others, had to switch to emergency austerity mode.
Slovakia is therefore topping up its underground stores of gas and gas utility SPP assures customers that all will be fine.
The rapidly unfolding situation sparked by events in Ukraine over the past few months and its disobedient Crimea peninsula have ruptured relations between Russia and the West, as Russia’s plans and motives come into question.
The referendum to be held this weekend in Crimea on its secession from Ukraine could have far-reaching implications not just for the region or the European continent as a whole, but also globally, as friction escalates and government powers get set to launch economic missiles at each other.