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Press review: Ruble set for gold peg and EU braces as Russia freezes gas to Eastern Europe
Top stories from the Russian press on Thursday, April 28th
Vedomosti: EU braces for cutoff of gas supplies from Russia

Europe is prepared for a shutoff of Russian gas supplies, President of the European Commission (EC) Ursula von der Leyen announced on April 27 after Gazprom halted pumping to Poland and Bulgaria. This happened because these countries did not make the required ruble payment to the gas giant on April 26 for the following round of gas supplies. Von der Leyen dubbed Gazprom's move to halt gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland "blackmail," emphasizing that the EU is ready to respond. However, it is unclear what steps the EU could take, according to Vedomosti.

On the morning of April 27, spot prices in Europe increased by more than 20% when gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria were cut off. According to ICE exchange data and Vedomosti calculations, the May futures price on the Dutch TTF hub reached $1,390 per 1,000 cubic meters.

"Against the backdrop of the array of sanctions that the EU has already placed on Russia, the prospect of some additional actions in reaction to the termination of gas flows to Poland and Bulgaria appears modest," expert at the Russian International Affairs Council Ivan Timofeev told Vedomosti. According to him, more sanctions against Russia cannot be ruled out, but "it is difficult to think what else it may consist of."

ACRA rating agency said Poland annually consumes about 19 bln cubic meters of gas. According to Gas Infrastructure Europe and Vedomosti's calculations, on April 25 (latest updated data), there were about 2.68 bln cubic meters of gas in underground storage facilities (UGS) in Poland, they were filled by more than 75%. Thus, the currently available reserves in the country's UGS facilities will last a little more than two months, the newspaper writes.

By suspending deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria, Gazprom has clearly proved its willingness to firmly stick to the directive on converting payments into rubles, Vygon Consulting’s Maria Belova told the newspaper. According to Belova's estimates, the EU can survive without gas from Russia for 1-2 months. But, she warns, "either a serious lack of energy resources or a decline in industrial production will follow."
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 18:38| Comment(0) | 国際・政治
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