Russia suspends gas supply to Latvia

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Russian energy giant Gazprom suspended gas supplies to Latvia on Saturday following tensions between Moscow and the West over the conflict in Ukraine and the scale of EU and US sanctions against Russia.

The statement came a day after Moscow and Kyiv accused each other of bombing a prison holding Ukrainian prisoners of war in Russian-held territory, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky saying more than 50 people had been killed and calling war crime attack.

“Gazprom today suspended gas deliveries to Latvia (…) due to breaches of purchase conditions,” the company said on Telegram.

Gazprom on Wednesday reduced gas deliveries to Europe via the Nord Stream gas pipeline to around 20% of its capacity.

The Russian state-owned company earlier said it would cut supply to 33 million cubic meters a day, half the amount it has been delivering since resuming service last week after 10 days of maintenance work .

EU states have accused Russia of cutting supplies in retaliation for Western sanctions over Moscow‘s intervention in Ukraine.

Gazprom cited the shutdown of one of the pipeline’s last two operating turbines due to “the technical condition of the engine”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov blamed EU sanctions for the limited supply.

“Technical pumping capabilities are down, more restricted. Why? Because the process of maintaining technical devices is made extremely difficult by the sanctions adopted by Europe,” Peskov said.

“Gazprom was and remains a reliable guarantor of its obligations (…) but it cannot guarantee the pumping of gas if the imported devices cannot be maintained because of European sanctions”, he said.

The European Union this week approved a plan to reduce gas consumption in solidarity with Germany, where the Nord Stream gas pipeline passes, warning against Russian “blackmail”.

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