Russian energy company Gazprom suspends gas supply to Latvia

MOSCOW—Russia’s state-owned natural gas company said Saturday it had suspended shipments to Latvia due to breach of contract.

Gas giant Gazprom said in a brief statement that shipments had been halted because Latvia violated “conditions for the extraction of gas”. It didn’t elaborate.

The statement likely referred to its refusal to comply with Russia’s request to pay for gas in rubles rather than other currencies. Gazprom had previously suspended shipments to her other EU member states, including the Netherlands, Poland and Bulgaria.

The direct impact of cutoff was not evident. Latvian media reported this week that the country has resumed buying Russian gas from another supplier.

After the EU imposed sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in March that “unfriendly foreign buyers” must do business with Gazprom in rubles, not dollars or euros. Stated.

The Kremlin said importers would need to open an account in dollars or euros with Gazprom Bank, Russia’s third largest bank, and then open a second account in rubles. The importer pays the gas bill in euros or dollars and tells the bank to exchange the money for rubles.

Many countries refused to comply, saying the new payment system could put them in a position to violate sanctions terms.

Associated Press