The shutdown of supplies through the Nord Stream gas pipeline has turned Ukraine into the main source of Russian gas for Europe: the only pipeline that goes directly to Europe now passes through Ukrainian territory, and this route looks increasingly vulnerable, Bloomberg notes .
The agency notes that the Ukrainian gas transportation system may become the next target of the Kremlin and then there will be no direct operating gas routes to Europe. At the moment, the limiting factor for shutting down Ukrainian transit is Moscow’s “allies” in Europe. First of all, we are talking about Hungary, which receives gas just through the territory of Ukraine. Although in August the Hungarian authorities reinsured themselves, and the country began to receive additional volumes of supplies at favorable prices, but along a different route - the Turkish Stream.
“There is always a risk that the Ukrainian corridor will become inaccessible while the fighting continues. With Nord Stream offline, the Ukrainian corridor is effectively the last route for Russian gas to Europe,” said Katya Yafimava, senior fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.
At the moment, the volume of deliveries through the Ukrainian territory is less than 40% of the possible volume. Volumes have fallen since mid-May, when the Russian side took control of the station in Sokhranivka, after which the Ukrainian side said that supplies through this station were stopped. Currently, only one transit station is operating, Sudzha, which is still under Ukrainian control. However, it can also be put out of action in the event of physical damage to the station or loss of control by the Ukrainian side over it.
If Ukrainian transit is blocked, Europe will lose about half of the current Russian gas supplies, the agency notes. At the moment, the total volume of transit from Russia to Europe is approximately 80 million cubic meters per day. Without Ukrainian transit, the main source of Russian gas will be the Turkish Stream, with its help Russia will be able to supply gas to some of its "allies" in Europe - Serbia and Hungary.
Russia stopped gas supplies via Nord Stream for an indefinite period, allegedly due to a technical malfunction in the last Siemens turbine, which ensured the pumping of the gas pipeline. Since the beginning of the year, the volume of gas supplies from Russia to Europe has fallen by 50%. After the shutdown of the pipeline, gas prices in Europe are trading near highs, above $2,200 per thousand cubic meters. Europe insists that Russia is deliberately blackmailing the countries of the continent because of its support for Ukraine. Moscow claims that the sanctions that were introduced, including against gas equipment, are to blame.