Ukraine War Sanctions: Russia Cuts Off Denmark’s Gas

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Ukraine War Sanctions: Russia Cuts Off Denmark's Gas

COPENHAGEN— Denmark’s largest
energy company said Russia is cutting off its gas supply as of Wednesday
because it refused to pay in rubles, the latest escalation over European
energy amid the war in Ukraine.

Russia previously halted
natural gas supplies to Finland, Poland and Bulgaria for refusing a demand to
pay in rubles. And on Tuesday, the tap was turned off to the Netherlands.

Danish energy company Ørsted
said it still expected to be able to serve its customers.

Ørsted CEO, Mads Nipper, said:
“We stand firm in our refusal to pay in rubles, and we’ve been preparing for
this scenario. The situation underpins the need of the EU becoming independent
of Russian gas by accelerating the build-out of renewable energy.”

Russian President Vladimir
Putin declared in the wake of Western sanctions that “unfriendly foreign
buyers” needed to open two accounts with state-owned Gazprombank, one to pay in
euros and dollars as specified in contracts and another in rubles.

The Danish Energy Agency said
that in the first 18 weeks of 2022, Russian gas amounted to approximately 25%
of EU gas consumption. The agency said that Denmark losing its supply would not
have immediate consequences

“We still have gas in Denmark,
and consumers can still have gas delivered,” Kristoffer Böttzauw, head of the
Danish Energy Agency. said in a statement Monday. “But we have plans ready if
the situation worsens.”

Since there is no pipeline going
directly from Russia to Denmark, Russia will not be able to directly cut off
gas supplies to Denmark, which still will be able to get it, Ørsted said.
Russia’s move means that Denmark must purchase more gas on the European gas
market, the company added.

Denmark has been a net
exporter of natural gas for many years, but because its Tyra field in the North
Sea is being renovated, the country currently imports about 75% of its gas
consumption via Germany. The Tyra field is expected to reopen in mid-2023.

In Denmark, some 380,000
households use natural gas for heating via gas boilers, the agency said.

On Tuesday, the leaders
of the European Union agreed to cut around 90% of all Russian oil imports
over the next six months. The 27-nation bloc has relied on Russia for 25% of
its crude and 40% of its natural gas.

 

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