Russian gas company Gazprom announced on Tuesday that it suspended gas deliveries to Dutch supplier GasTerra in the face of its refusal to pay in rubles, a dispute arising from the Russian military offensive against Ukraine.
"Gazprom has completely stopped its gas deliveries to GasTerra B.V. (Netherlands) due to non-payment in rubles," the Russian giant announced in a statement on its Telegram messaging service.
In response to the sanctions imposed by the European Union following the Russian offensive in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded that buyers of Russian gas from "unfriendly" countries pay in rubles from accounts in Russia under pain of being deprived of supplies, despite contracts providing for payments in euros or dollars.
The GasTerra group had refused, demanding compliance with contractual obligations and noting that payments such as the Kremlin is claiming presented “a risk of violation of the sanctions drawn up by the EU”.
The Dutch depend on Russia for around 15% of their gas supplies, or some six billion cubic meters a year, according to the government.
This is less than the European average of 40%, but like other European countries, the Netherlands is trying to reduce its dependence on Russian energy.
The Russian energy giant's decision means that two billion cubic meters of gas will not be supplied to the Netherlands by October, GasTerra had warned, adding that it had "anticipated this by buying gas elsewhere".
Russia had already cut off gas for the same reason to Finland, Bulgaria and Poland.