Skip to content

Sanctions to Russia or the World? The Gazprom Gas Supply Oversight

    by: Jyl Leann Caneda / August 24, 2022
    Gazprom had significantly reduced gas flow by over 60%
    Nord Stream is a natural gas pipeline that will link Russia and the European Union via the Baltic Sea. The pipeline, which has a total length of around 1,220 kilometers, is to be launched in 2011 with an initial annual capacity of 27.5 bcm. Capacity will double to 55 bcm per year in 2012 when the pipelineís second line becomes operational. (

    On 14 June, the Russian state gas monopoly elaborated in a letter on the shutdown of its Nord Stream 1 pipeline due to annual maintenance. Germany is reliant on Russian gas, being one of the world’s largest power producers. Lamentably, it is also one of the hardest-hit countries due to the force majeure.

    Gazprom has significantly reduced gas flow by over 60% since June. It cited that its technical problem was the maintenance of the turbine powering a compressor station in Canada. Despite the latter sending the turbine parts on 17 July by plane to repair and having no issues with logistics customs, Russia reported they were unable to declare the turbine’s whereabouts. The fact that turbine maintenance is a common problem only makes things worse, as the repair is pushed to happen only in September.

    This depletion in gas supply had gotten the European Union on its toes due to the pressuring energy crisis and economic recession. Moreover, the inability to follow through with legal obligations between Gazprom Gas and European countries raises questions about whether or not Gazprom’s intent was driven beyond technical difficulties. 

    Due to the Russian-Ukraine war, Western sanctions imposed steep restrictions on Russian banks, cutting off about half of its $600-billion emergency reserves of foreign currency. Before the war, Europe exchanges with Gazprom were done in euros since it gave more value to Russian roubles. But because of the conflict, the value of roubles plummeted, resulting in Gazprom requesting European countries to pay in roubles to supply its gas demands. 

    The sanctions imposed on Moscow were aimed at abolishing the use of fossil fuels by 2027 but wanting supply to continue until another alternative had been found. Unfortunately, allowing transactions to the Gazprom bank would be violating sanctions since they involved Russian central banks. 

    Additionally, the tight hold on the gas supplies, together with unruly negotiations on payment transitions, has Putin’s strategy to put Europe in an uncomfortable position raising the stakes on future sanctions. 

    The Russian-Ukraine war not only brought severe inconvenience but also hunger to many underprivileged countries. Ukraine provides up to 40% of global exports, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) – over 40% to Libya and 80% to Lebanon. Due to the crisis, Ukrainian farmers cannot harvest nor sow due to the growing unrest and dangers within the area, affecting agricultural regions the most. Ukraine, known as the “Bread and Butter of Europe,” is currently a wreck. The indigent state had even raised food prices by 41% – equivalent to 47 million experiencing acute hunger. 

    On 30 June, the 48th G7 Summit in Germany commenced to address the ongoing energy crisis. Unfortunately, the meeting claimed many promises such as abolishing the use of fossil fuels and supporting developing countries like India, Indonesia, and Vietnam on their path to clean and sustainable energy – all of which were anecdotal and projected by 2030. The summit also requested producers beyond Russian borders to produce “more fossil fuels” to stabilise the oil market – a contradiction to initial climate progression plans. 

    Leaders at the G7 Summit 2022 (

    This show of desperation had reports saying the G7 disappointed many in addressing the energy and food crisis, as they navigated the ban on Russian oil with much difficulty. Other world leaders are equally scrambling to find solutions quickly. Germany (in its pursuit to phase out fossil fuels) even mentioned it would fire up more coal plants. The lack of sufficient investments in renewable energy has gotten some countries to comply with the terms and conditions of Russia.

    The world continues to feel the strain of the Western sanctions. But despite these sanctions aggravating more issues for the rest of the world, it might be the only way to achieve stability without fueling another World War. The Gazprom halt, as distressing as it is, is a mere ripple effect of a larger issue. 

    Since the world is at a crossroads between compromising climate progressions and economic recessions, it is important for world leaders to consider long-term effects when attempting to address such issues. For instance, an in-depth reconsideration of the prolonged consequences of global warming should temper actions to invest more in renewable energy and be less reliant on fossil fuels or coal.

    The advent of the Russian-Ukraine war, alongside the ongoing pandemic, undeniably underscores the need to progress towards a greener world. However, the Gazprom crisis and the recent G7 Summit prove that we still have a long way to go.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *