Russian gas producer Gazprom said on Saturday it had stopped sending gas to Latvia after accusing it of breaching supply conditions, a move the Baltic country said would have little impact on its gas supplies.
Russia has already cut off gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, the Netherlands and Denmark, which have refused to pay for gas in accordance with an order from President Vladimir Putin demanding the opening of ruble accounts in a Russian bank.
Russia has also halted gas sales to Shell Energy Europe in Germany.
In a press release published on Saturday, Gazprom did not specify which gas supply conditions Latvia, a member of the military alliance of the European Union and NATO bordering Russia, would have violated.
Edijs Saicans, deputy state secretary for energy policy at the Latvian economy ministry, said Gazprom’s decision would have little effect given that Latvia has already decided to ban imports of Russian gas from from January 1, 2023.
“We don’t see any major impact from such a decision,” he said.
Gazprom’s announcement came a day after Latvian energy company Latvijas Gaze said it was buying gas from Russia and paying in euros rather than the rubles required when trading with Gazprom.
A spokesman for Latvijas Gaze, however, said on Friday that it does not buy gas from Gazprom. Latvijas Gaze did not name its Russian supplier, citing professional secrecy.
Latvijas Gaze did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday after Gazprom’s announcement.
EU countries agreed on an emergency regulation on Tuesday to limit their gas consumption this winter, preparing for a winter of uncertain supply from Russia.
In March, Putin said the world’s largest natural gas producer would demand that countries designated as “unfriendly” in their stance on Moscow’s actions in Ukraine pay for piped gas in rubles.
The European Commission – which has warned that complying with Putin’s order could breach EU sanctions against Moscow – has urged companies to continue paying in the currency agreed in their contracts with Gazprom.