Kyiv: The shutdown of a gas pipeline in eastern Ukraine has sent a fresh wave of energy jitters through Europe.
The price of gas jumped — then fell. The cutoff is in sharp focus because it’s the first time that the war has disrupted the Russian natural gas that flows through Ukraine to get to Europe, where it powers factories and generates electricity.
The operator of the gas pipeline system, Gas TSO of Ukraine, said it could no longer transport gas through a compressor station in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine, near the border with Russia. It said it had no operational control over the station in Russian-held territory, with occupying forces interfering in the station’s operation and diverting gas in a way that endangered the stability of the pipeline system.
The company said it repeatedly told Russian state-owned gas exporter Gazprom about threats to flows from such interference but that its appeals were ignored.
The pipeline handles around a third of Russian gas heading to Europe. The Ukrainian operator said the gas flows could be made up through another pipeline that crosses from Russia into Ukraine near the town of Sudzha.