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Russia Reduces Natural Gas Exports To Europe

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

On the natural gas front, tit-for-tat measures between Ukraine, the European Union, and Russia led to a reduction in Russian natural gas to Europe this week, first via Ukraine after Kyiv shut down a key transit station, citing disruption by occupying Russian forces. Then, as a result of retaliatory sanctions Russians imposed on its own subsidiaries, flows were reduced along the Yamal-Europe pipeline, where Gazprom units are now not allowed to fulfill their obligations. Finally, vague Russian threats were issued to Finland over that country’s decision to apply for NATO membership, with Moscow potentially gearing up to shut gas off as soon as Friday (today), but also threatening other potential “military-technical” measures.

The European Union made no discernible progress this past week towards implementing an embargo on Russian oil, with Hungary still holding out–essentially demanding hundreds of millions of dollars to sign on to an embargo. The impact of an EU embargo on Russian oil would be to reduce Russian supply by 3 million barrels a day, according to the IEA.

It’s been difficult to follow the IEA’s thinking lately. Just over a month ago, it was rallying the markets by dangling a global oil supply shock out there due to sanctions on Russia. This week, it’s suddenly not worried in the slightest about declining Russian oil output–or even an EU embargo. Now, the IEA says…

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