Russia resumes gas supply to Romania which is increasingly dependent on imports

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

Russia has resumed natural gas supply to Romania through the Ukrainian gas transit system, Ukrainian state gas transit operator said on Wednesday.

Romania barely covers half of its natural gas needs, and imports gas from Russia.

Russia’s Gazprom suspended gas transit to Romania via Ukraine in April last year. Romania was getting gas via the Turkish pipeline.

Romania gets revenues by pumping gas to Hungary though Romanian pipelines. But when domestic gas consumption increases in colder weather it needs to import gas from Hungary sending up prices.

Gas imports to Romania increased by 68.4% in the first ten months of 2021 compared to the same period the previous year. Domestic production only increased by 0.4% the National Statistics Office said in December.

A total of 152 million cubic meters of gas will be transported to Romania in January, Ukrainian operator TSOUA said, Reuters reported.

The volume of Russian gas transported via Ukraine to Europe fell 25% in 2021, cutting a major revenue stream for Ukraine’s economy at a time of heightened tensions with Russia.

Relations between Kyiv and Moscow soured after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and the outbreak of war in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow has been developing alternate routes for transporting gas to Europe. Ukraine stood to get $2 billion in 2020 from the gas transit.

Kyiv has accused Russia of cutting gas supplies via Ukraine to drive up prices and put pressure on the European Union to give the green light to the  Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is ready to pump Russian gas to Europe bypassing Ukraine.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has denied that Russia has sought to inflate prices. He says Nord Stream 2 can help to calm markets by increasing supplies.

Romania’s energy minister blames gas price hikes on Russian speculation of markets

 

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