Will Russia shut off gas to Europe in the event of a war in Ukraine?

The United States threatens Russia with large-scale economic sanctions in the event of its invasion of Ukraine. In Moscow, they announced "military-technical actions" in response to the "aggressiveness" of the West. Intellinews resource experts discuss whether these plans include cutting off gas supplies to European countries.

Europe is still heavily dependent on Russian gas, which accounts for 30 to 40 percent of its gas. At the end of March, the heating season will end, and local UGS facilities will be filled with only 10 percent, which will be enough until the end of 2022 if Russia does not stop supplies. However, if the tap is turned off, Europeans will not be able to replenish their “blue fuel” reserves and will face a serious energy crisis next year, compared to which this year's situation will look like child's play.

Such a crisis would almost certainly include rolling blackouts as well as massive heating cuts. European consumers will literally freeze in the dark before they have to pay their electricity bills. Therefore, "gas weapons" insofar as they exist can be compared with nuclear weapons: they are too powerful to ever be used.

- writes the media.

Yes, shutting off the gas valve would have a huge and immediate political effect on Europe, but the long-term implications for Russia's gas business make this option highly unattractive for Moscow. The problem is that gas deals usually last for decades, so reputational risks are key to business. And Russia has underground gas reserves for a hundred years or more.

The Kremlin is fully aware that such actions will have long-term consequences for Russia, the negative effect of which cannot be calculated.

Intellinews experts say.

But what if the war did start?

During the military conflict, the Druzhba gas pipeline, through which gas goes to European countries, including through the territory of Ukraine, may be damaged. The Kremlin will try to portray this military conflict as a local one, as the US and NATO have made it clear that they will not send troops to defend Ukraine. In this case, Russia is likely to continue supplying gas to European countries. This means an increase in supplies through the Yamal-Europe pipeline through Belarus and Poland from almost zero to 100 percent to compensate for the loss of Ukrainian transit.

Intellinews suggests that Gazprom, as an emergency measure, may even use Nord Stream 2 without regulatory approval, and then simply pay a fine. And the Europeans can agree to such a decision in order to keep gas supplies.

As for LNG, its volumes are too small to have an impact on the energy balance of the European continent. Gazprom sells to Europe from 180 to 200 billion cubic meters of gas per year, which is equivalent to a third of all LNG production. At the same time, many Asian countries (for example, Japan) are completely dependent on the supply of liquefied gas. Diverting enough LNG for transportation to Europe (about half of the total supply) would lead to a sharp increase in gas prices and a major energy crisis in the Asian region.
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  1. Bakht Offline Bakht
    Bakht (Bakhtiyar) 2 February 2022 09: 31
    Will Russia shut off gas to Europe in the event of a war?

    It is impossible to imagine a more stupid question.
  2. Expert_Analyst_Forecaster 2 February 2022 12: 17
    The problem is that gas deals usually last for decades, so reputational risks are key to business.

    I wonder with whom it is planned to conclude deals for decades?
    Europe wants to conclude short-term contracts now and get rid of gas in ten years.
    Does Russia need this market? If needed, then only for the next 10 years and with a gradual reduction in supplies. So it's hardly worth talking about reputation.
    Europe does not bother with its reputation. So why should we be holier than the pope?
  3. Gadley Offline Gadley
    Gadley 2 February 2022 12: 55
    after about the Druzhba gas pipeline, I precipitated. the author does not seem to be aware that such a gas pipeline does not exist.
  4. gorskova.ir Offline gorskova.ir
    gorskova.ir (Irina Gorskova) 2 February 2022 19: 22
    If the state attacks you, then what kind of contracts can we talk about? Actually, it's time to do that. Download only for a fee and only at exchange prices.
  5. sapper2 Offline sapper2
    sapper2 (Minesweeper2) 2 February 2022 20: 15
    The answer is only "YES" or "NO" .... Yes, our oligarchs will give everything to the West for their property from the Britons in the event of even hostilities .... Some kind of surrealism .... It's like in the case of an ultimatum .. As soon as the Britons hinted at the confiscation, EVERYTHING !!! Everything is over, forgotten and we are flying to the Olympics!!!
  6. Jacques sekavar Offline Jacques sekavar
    Jacques sekavar (Jacques Sekavar) 3 February 2022 09: 58
    It would be strange if the USSR during the Great Patriotic War supplied the fascist Germans with raw materials for the production of weapons, building materials and fodder for the army.
    But that was the USSR and money was not in the first place, unlike the Russian Federation.
    After the Yeltsin coup d'etat, the collapse of the USSR and the restoration of capitalism, money determines everything!
    Therefore, nothing can be ruled out - reputational risks are key for business, and war for “business” is “Klondike”.
    Bernankin Ben, the former head of the US Federal Reserve, once said bluntly that war is a strong stimulus for the economy (increasing incomes by the owners of “steamboat newspaper factories”), but he knew what he was talking about.
    1. Adler77 Offline Adler77
      Adler77 (Denis) 4 February 2022 08: 53
      Blah blah blah On June 22, 1941, the USSR was driving trains with goods west to Germany fulfilling contractual obligations ... although the likelihood of war was extremely high, the troops of the then hegemon stood on the borders.
      Very similar to today.
      History repeats itself.