Russian energy giant Gazprom on Tuesday accused Ukraine of diverting natural gas supplies transiting its territory to Moldova and threatened to cut deliveries through a key pipeline to Europe in response.
The allegations are the latest point of tension over energy deliveries between Kyiv, European capitals, and Moscow, which has reduced natural gas deliveries to Europe in response to Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
“The volume of gas supplied by Gazprom … for transit to Moldova via Ukraine is more than the physical volume transmitted at the border of Ukraine with Moldova,” Gazprom said in a statement.
The state-owned gas giant said that Ukraine had obstructed the delivery of 52.52 million cubic meters of natural gas being delivered to Moldova.
“If the transit imbalance through Ukraine for Moldovan consumers persists, on November 28, from 10:00, Gazprom will begin reducing gas supply” through a key transit point for deliveries to Europe, the company said.
The threats come at a precarious moment for energy security in Europe, which has scrambled to fill gas storage sites ahead of winter.
Ukraine is suffering a severe energy crisis due to weeks of persistent Russian strikes on its energy grid, which has also led to blackouts in neighboring Moldova.
Chisinau’s pro-European president, Maia Sandu, has warned that her country of 2.6 million people nestled between Romania and Ukraine risks running out of gas and electricity this winter.