Live: Russian strikes hit port infrastructure in south Ukraine

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Issued on: 26/07/2022 – 06:31

Russian energy giant Gazprom on Monday said gas flows to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would fall to 33 million cubic metres (MCM) per day from Wednesday, down from its full capacity of more than 160 MCM per day. Follow our live updates for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).


10:25am: ‘Difficult to see a way through’ for EU winter gas provision

As European Union countries meet to discuss cuts in Russian gas supply on Tuesday, agreement from member states on a 15% drop in consumption is likely says Angela Diffley, FRANCE 24’s international affairs editor

Cutting gas use and conserving provisions now are essential ahead of winter months, when demand for gas will increase. “The EU has been trying to import from other sources [than Russia] but that is reaching a threshold,” Diffley said. “Aside from that they will probably end up asking citizens to ration.”

Prior to the invasion in Ukraine the EU relied on Russia for 40% of its gas imports.


8:12am: EU ministers to discuss gas rationing in wake of Russian gas cuts

In advance of more Russian gas cuts in Europe, EU ministers are set to discuss gas rationing at a meeting on Tuesday.

Russia has said the cuts are down to technical problems in its Nord Stream 1 pipeline and difficulties getting essential parts delivered due to sanctions placed on Russia by the EU.

“The German government has said they don’t buy this technical problem idea,” said FRANCE 24’s Dave Keating, reporting from Brussels, adding that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the cuts as “energy terrorism”.


7:02am: Russian strike hits port infrastructure in south, says Mykolaiv mayor

Russian forces have struck port infrastructure in Ukraine’s southern Mykolaiv region, Mayor Oleksandr Senkevich said on Tuesday.

“A massive missile strike was launched on the south of Ukraine from the direction of the Black Sea, and with the use of aviation,” he told Ukrainian state television, providing no details on the aftermath of the strike.

6:08am: EU countries seek deal on weakened plan to cut winter gas use

European Union countries are set to approve a weakened emergency EU proposal to curb their gas demand on Tuesday, with opt-outs allowing them to follow different national paths to prepare for Russian supply cuts.

Europe faces a further gas squeeze this week, after Russian’s Gazprom said it would again reduce flows to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. With a dozen EU countries already facing reduced Russian supplies, Brussels has warned that a full cut-off is likely – and is urging countries to prepare by saving gas and storing it for winter.

The European Commission last week proposed emergency rules requiring each country to cut its gas use by 15 percent from August to March. The target would be voluntary, but the Commission could make it binding in a supply emergency.

However, the plan has faced resistance from a range of governments and countries have redrafted it to include exemptions for numerous countries and industries. Energy ministers from EU countries meet on Tuesday to approve the final version.

5:15am: Fresh Russian gas cuts threaten economic pain in Europe

Russia said it will cut gas supplies to Europe from Wednesday in a blow to countries that have supported Ukraine.

Russian energy giant Gazprom, citing instructions from an industry watchdog, on Monday said gas flows to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would fall to 33 million cubic metres per day from Wednesday.

That is half of the current flows, which are already only 40 percent of normal capacity. Prior to the war, Europe imported about 40 percent of its gas and 30 percent of its oil from Russia.

The Kremlin says the gas disruption is the result of maintenance issues and Western sanctions, while the European Union has accused Russia of energy blackmail.

Germany said it saw no technical reason for the latest reduction.

The Astora natural gas depot, which is the largest natural gas storage in Western Europe, is pictured in Rehden, Germany, March 16, 2022. © Fabien Bimmer, Reuters

Adding to concerns on the energy front, the Ukrainian state pipeline operator company said Russian gas giant Gazprom without prior notice has increased pressure sharply in a pipeline that runs through Ukraine to deliver Russian gas to Europe.

Such pressure spikes could lead to emergencies including pipeline ruptures, and pipeline operators are obliged to inform each other about them in advance, the Ukrainian company said. Gazprom could not be immediately reached for comment.

Gazprom had estimated that it supplied 41.7 million cubic metres (mcm) through that pipeline on Monday versus 41.2 mcm a day earlier.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that the Kremlin was waging an “open gas war” against Europe.

Politicians in Europe have repeatedly said Russia could cut off gas this winter, a step that would thrust Germany into recession and hurt consumers already hit by soaring inflation.

Moscow says it is not interested in a complete stoppage of gas supplies to Europe.

© France Médias Monde graphic studio

(FRANCE 24 with Reuters, AP and AFP)