Gazprom shuts off Latvia's gas supplies

Gazprom has suspended gas supplies to Latvia - the latest EU country to experience such action amid tensions over Ukraine, the BBC reports. Gazprom accused Latvia of violating conditions of purchase but gave no details of that alleged violation.

Latvia relies on neighbouring Russia for natural gas imports, but gas forms only 26% of its energy consumption.

EU states have accused Russia of weaponising gas exports in retaliation for far-reaching Western sanctions imposed over its invasion of Ukraine. .

Gazprom sharply cut gas deliveries to Europe via the Nord Stream pipeline on Wednesday to about 20% of its capacity.

The EU rejects Russia's demand that member states pay for Gazprom gas in roubles, not euros. The EU says there is no contractual condition for rouble payments. On Thursday the Latvian gas utility Latvijas Gaze said it was buying Russian gas but paying in euros.

Since Russia's February invasion of Ukraine and the tightening of Western sanctions Gazprom has suspended gas deliveries to Bulgaria, Finland, Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands over non-payment in roubles. Russia has also halted gas sales to Shell Energy Europe in Germany.

The EU is now striving to boost gas imports from elsewhere, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Norway, Qatar and the US.

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