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No gas supply for entities under Russian sanctions, says Kremlin

The Astora natural gas depot, which is the largest natural gas storage in Western Europe, is pictured in Rehden, Germany, March 16, 2022. (Photo by Reuters)

Foreign energy companies subject to Moscow's retaliatory sanctions will no longer be able to receive gas supplies from Russia, a top official has said.

“Sanctions are blocking, so there could be no any relations with these companies, nor can they take part in (gas) supplies,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

“Other companies will most likely be involved in the process. For details, you need to contact Gazprom,” he added.

Russia has imposed energy sanctions on 31 companies from Germany, France and other entities in European countries including the Polish part of the Yamal pipeline, as well as Gazprom’s former German unit, which previously could meet Europe’s gas demands.

The targeted companies on the Russian list of sanctions are from the countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia in response to its offensive in Ukraine, most of them members of the European Union.

Germany confirmed the blockade of supplies on Thursday and announced that some subsidiaries of Gazprom Germania, the former Gazprom unit, are receiving no gas because of sanctions.

The country, however, claimed that the new punitive measures are designed to increase energy prices.

During a news conference on Thursday, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the sanctions constituted an escalation, accusing Russia of using energy as a weapon.

He said that his government would not raise the emergency level anymore as an expected drop of 3 percent of Russian gas deliveries could be compensated on the market albeit at higher prices.

The development came after Ukraine announced that it has decided to suspend the flow of Russian gas through a key transit point to Europe, blaming Moscow for the move.

The Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU) said in a statement on Tuesday that it would stop transporting Russian gas through the eastern Sokhranivka entry point, that delivers almost one-third of the fuel that Russia exports to Europe across Ukraine, from May 11.

Ukraine has remained a major transit route for Russian gas to Europe even after Moscow's offensive. The latest decision has raised fears of a cutoff of flows to Europe. Mounting Western sanctions are also seeking to ban or phase out the use of Russian energy.

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