The flow of Russian gas through a main pipeline to Germany has increased today and there is no indication that the President of Belarus has carried out his threat to cut off supplies to the European Union as winter approaches.
Targeting gas supplies that heat millions of homes across Europe, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko warned last week that he could retaliate against any new EU sanctions on the Belarus-EU border dispute by closing the border. Europe crossing his country.
Russia is a major exporter of natural gas to Europe via Belarus, and the Kremlin has made it clear that it does not want to see supplies disrupted.
European spot gas prices rose 6.27% to 79.70 euros per megawatt hour today at 13:46 Greek time, with the market remaining tight this year due to a number of factors, from lower inventories to increased demand after the relaxation of the lockdowns of COVID-19.
Until recently, the lack of additional flows from Moscow – which only complies with the volumes stipulated in its contract – was a key factor in raising gas prices, and the market is closely monitoring any possible disruption to Russian flow.
Russia’s state-owned gas monopoly Gazprom began refueling its European storage facilities last week, with flows flowing mainly through Belarus and Ukraine.
President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that a move to block gas flows to Germany risks straining relations between Minsk and its key ally, Moscow, adding that he would discuss the issue with Lukashenko.
The hourly flow volume to Germany at the Malnau measuring point, located on the Polish border, today reached over 12,454,248 kilowatt hours, according to data from the German network operator Gascade, increased compared to the weekend volumes.
The gas transmission infrastructure in Belarus is owned by Gazprom.
Today, the results of monthly auctions showed that Gazprom did not close additional capacity for the passage of natural gas through Ukraine and through the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline for the month of December.
Although it generally ignores monthly auctions, Gazprom closes transit capacity in daily auctions, occasionally when it has additional requests from its customers.
Russia has said that once the Nord Stream 2 pipeline receives the green light from Germany to operate it will be able to start flowing more gas to Europe. Nord Stream 2 is designed to bypass transit countries, especially Ukraine, which has a history of dispute with Moscow over gas pricing.