Russia further cuts Italy's gas supply due to ‘maintenance work’

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Russia further cuts Italy's gas supply due to ‘maintenance work’
Italy is heavily dependent on Russian national energy firm Gazprom for imports of natural gas. Photo by Nikolay DOYCHINOV / AFP

Italy's Eni said on Monday Gazprom was further reducing the supply of gas, as the Russian giant began 10 days of routine maintenance on its Nord Stream 1 pipeline.


"Gazprom announced that today it will supply to Eni volumes of gas for approximately 21 million cubic meters/day, while the average for the last few days was of about 32 million cubic meters/day," Eni said.

The Russian energy giant had previously cut gas supplies to Italy over a period of several days in June amid mounting tensions between Russia and the West over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. 

At the time Gazprom blamed the shortfall on problems at its Portovaya plant which feeds the Nord Stream gas pipeline, through which Gazprom transports part of the volumes destined for Eni.


READ ALSO: Italy receives lower Russian gas supply for second day

However, the move came just days after Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi visited Kyiv on a surprise joint visit with the leaders of France and Germany to show solidarity with Ukraine.

Draghi said the squeeze was a cynical retaliatory move by Moscow, and denounced Gazprom's technical explanation as 'lies'.

“We are seeing a political use of gas, just as we have seen a political use of wheat,” he said in reference to the millions of tons of wheat that were stuck in Ukrainian ports at the time.

“This is a (Russian) strategy that… must be faced and fought.”

READ ALSO: Italian PM says Russia’s excuses for gas cut are ‘lies’ as shortfall continues

Part of Gazprom's gas supplies reach Italy via the Trans Austria Gas Pipeline (TAG), but some of it comes through the Nord Stream 1, which has now officially been shut off due to annual maintenance work.

The fear is that - with relations between Russia and the West at their lowest in years because of the invasion of Ukraine - Gazprom might take the opportunity to simply refuse to reopen the valves.

A long-term shutdown of the pipeline would hit EU countries - particularly Italy - hard, deepening an energy crisis in which uncertain supplies have pushed prices up ahead of Europe's winter.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also