Russian gas giant Gazprom announced on Saturday that it was suspending gas deliveries to Latvia, amid Russian-Western tensions over the conflict in Ukraine and unprecedented European sanctions against Russia.
“Today, Gazprom has suspended gas deliveries to Latvia (…), due to violation of gas offtake conditions,” the Russian company said in a Telegram statement, without further ado details.
The announcement comes as Gazprom sharply reduced Russian gas deliveries to Europe via the Nord Stream pipeline this week, citing the need for turbine maintenance as European countries scramble to fill on their reserves.
Russia has already cut its shipping volume twice in June, saying the pipeline could not operate normally without a turbine repaired in Canada and not returned to Russia because of sanctions imposed on the West after the Russian attack on Ukraine.
Gas, an energy weapon?
Since then, Germany and Canada have agreed to send the equipment back to Russia, but the turbine has not been delivered.
Westerners have accused Moscow of using energy weapons in retaliation for sanctions adopted after the offensive against Ukraine.
The Kremlin has assured for its part that the sanctions are the source of technical problems in the gas infrastructure and that Europe is suffering from the measures it has imposed on Russia.
Russia has been hit by several rounds of Western sanctions following its military intervention in Ukraine that was launched on February 24.
Russian gas exports to Europe, especially to Germany and Italy, have continued to decline since the start of these sanctions. Gazprom also interrupted its gas deliveries to many European customers who refused to pay in rubles.