Russia wants to cut gas supplies to the Netherlands. Denmark can be next.

  • Gazprom is set to cut natural gas supplies to the Netherlands as Dutch trader GasTerra has refused to pay in rubles.
  • That is after Russian President Putin has demanded natural gas payments in rubles.
  • Danish ├śrsted has also rejected the claim and warns that supplies from Gazprom may be cut.

Russian energy giant Gazprom is set to cut natural gas supplies to the Netherlands on Tuesday, as Dutch retailer GasTerra has refused to pay in rubles.

In a decree on March 31, Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded that natural gas payments be made in rubles, which would mean opening a euro and ruble account with Gazprombank in Moscow to process payments.

“GasTerra will not agree to Gazprom’s demand for payment,” said GasTerra, which is partly owned by the state and acts on behalf of the authorities.

“This is because doing so would risk violating EU sanctions and also because there are too many financial and operational risks associated with the required payment route,” the Dutch company wrote in a press release on Monday. “In particular, the opening of accounts in Moscow under Russian law and their control of the Russian regime poses too great a risk.”

In response, Gazprom has announced that it will cut off GasTerra’s natural gas supply from Tuesday, according to the Dutch company.

The Dutch government said it understood GasTerra’s decision not to comply with Gazprom’s demand to pay in rubles.

“This decision has no implications for the physical supply of gas to Dutch households,” Dutch Climate and Energy Minister Rob Jetten said on Twitter on Monday. The Netherlands is dependent on Russia for about 15% of its gas supply, according to Reuters.

The Dutch government says on its website that the country has enough gas reserves in the short term and plans to import more liquefied natural gas from countries other than Russia.

Denmark can be next

In neighboring Denmark, the power company Orsted also warns of a gas outage in Gazprom because it also refuses to pay in rubles.

“We have no legal obligation under the contract to do so, and we have repeatedly informed Gazprom Export that we will not do so,” Orsted said in a press release on Monday.

As Orsted intends to continue paying in euros for a payment to be made on Tuesday, “there is a risk that Gazprom Export will stop supplying gas to Orsted,” the power company said.

Orsted said that they expect to be able to buy gas on the European gas market. Both the Netherlands and Denmark also produce their own natural gas.

The Danish Energy Agency said in a press release on Monday that they do not expect any immediate effect from a natural gas supply cut by Gazprom and have an emergency plan ready.

Gazprom did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Gazprom has already cut gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria and Finland, since they have all refused to pay in rubles.

Not all of Europe is ready to release Russian natural gas right now. Some large buyers such as Italy’s Eni and Germany’s Uniper have opened accounts in Gazprombank to meet Russian payment requirements.

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