It Begins: Gazprom Warns European Gas "Supply Disruptions" Possible

Tyler Durden's picture

We had previously warned that Putin's "trump card" had yet to be played and with Obama (and a quickly dropping list of allies) preparing economic sanctions (given their limited escalation options otherwise), it was only a matter of time before the pressure was once again applied from the Russian side. As ITAR-TASS reports, Russia's Gazprom warned that not only could it cancel its "supply discount" as Ukraine's overdue payments reached $1.5 billion but that "simmering political tensions in Ukraine, that are aggravated by inadequate economic conditions, may cause disruptions of gas supplies to Europe." And with that one sentence, Europe will awaken to grave concerns over Russia's next steps should sanctions be applied.


It would appear this is the most important map in Europe once again...



Some recent history...

In late January, Ukraine asked Russia for deferral of payments for gas supplied in 2013 and in early 2014. President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine’s debt totalled $2.7 billion then.

and then...

On March 1, Gazprom’s spokesperson Sergai Kupriyanov said the gas holding could cancel its gas supply discount for Ukraine as its overdue debt for gas reached $1.5 billion. This figure includes debts not only for last year’s supplies, but also for the current deliveries.


"The situation with payments is worrying," said Andrei Kruglov, Gazprom's chief financial officer.

"Ukraine is paying but not as well as we would like it to. We are still thinking about whether to extend the pricing contract into the next quarter based on current prices."

And now today...

Russia’s gas giant Gazprom said on Monday it did not rule out possible disruptions of gas supplies to Europe over Ukraine’s political situation.


Simmering political tensions in Ukraine, that are aggravated by inadequate economic conditions, may cause disruptions of gas supplies to Europe,” the monopoly said in its materials, adding that it would do its utmost to reduce export risks.


“We will further invest into other export-oriented projects such as South Stream and will enhance our LNG (liquefied natural gas) production and export capacity. We also increase our access to underground gas storage facilities in Europe.”


Andrei Kruglov, Gazprom’s chief financial officer, said at the moment Russia had been supplying gas to Ukraine according to schedule, although the latter failed to fulfil its debt obligations.

With that last sentence providing exactly the 'real world' cover Gazprom needs to cut its supplies "through" Ukraine and thus to Europe...

And, as The Guardian notes, this would...

not the first time Russia has used gas exports to put pressure on its neighbour – and "gas wars" between the two countries tend to be felt far beyond their borders. Russia, after all, still supplies around 30% of Europe's gas.


In late 2005, Gazprom said it planned to hike the price it charged Ukraine for natural gas from $50 per 1,000 cubic metres, to $230. The company, so important to Russia that it used to be a ministry and was once headed by the former president (and current prime minister) Dmitry Medvedev, said it simply wanted a fair market price; the move had nothing to do with Ukraine's increasingly strong ties with the European Union and Nato. Kiev, unsurprisingly, said it would not pay, and on 1 January 2006 – the two countries having spectacularly failed to reach an agreement – Gazprom turned off the taps.


The impact was immediate – and not just in Ukraine. The country is crossed by a network of Soviet-era pipelines that carry Russian natural gas to many European Union member states and beyond; more than a quarter of the EU's total gas needs were met by Russian gas, and some 80% of it came via Ukrainian pipelines. Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Poland soon reported gas pressure in their own pipelines was down by as much as 30%.

Short of an actual war, the consensus appeared to be, Europe's gas supplies are unlikely to be seriously threatened (since Putin relies on those revenues)... that is clearly about to change with Gazprom's comments.

As the following image from Agence France Presse (created at the end of last year) indicates, things are about to get a lot more problemati for Germany, France, and Italy...

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QuickFrozen's picture

Get ready for a nuclear war.

All Russian forces are moving to the Ukrainian border. Ukraine is the first, the next will be Europe and the U.S..

Lunatic Putin has staked to win the war with NATO this year and he wants to launch a nuclear strike.

He wants to rule the world.

90's Child's picture

Fuck it, and the hawks in Washington.

Pool Shark's picture



Most famous classic blunder:

"Never get involved in a land war in Asia."


Freddie's picture

Anyone see some of the shit these Russians are moving.  Loads of helicopters, SS-400, trucks, APCs.  They get a lot of bang for their buck for $85 billion while the USA wastes like $12 billion on one carrier or 20 piece of shit defective F-35s that don't work.

Good luck sending in an army to take on these guys.  These kids in the Russian army look like Americans kids circa 1950s.

Anusocracy's picture

How many months of staging did it take for the Gulf War?

DoChenRollingBearing's picture



My take for what it's worth (not much):

Russia gets Crimea.  They will probably get Eastern Ukraine.

Russia gets Belarus (I doubt anyone will argue this one).

Russia gets the "stans".  Why should we care, what could we do?

Russia gets the Caucasus. Iran's & Turkey's problem.


Russia does not get the Baltics, nor Poland <-- they will fight.

Russia does not get Mongolia, the USSR "had it", but now it's China's turf.


mrmister's picture

Russia gets Europe too. Who is going to fight for Europe? Most of their population are foreigners anyway.

Arius's picture

people ... people ... dont look at these like Russia get this and we get this .... it is not us ... capish???

its the big people ... we are little people .... big difference .... get it???

i know you have been told different that you got the power to this and that, but you dont .... just try to pay your bills in time .... and do not, i repeat do not even try to loss your job/

mrmister's picture

"i know you have been told different that you got the power to this and that, but you dont .... just try to pay your bills in time .... and do not, i repeat do not even try to loss your job/"



Wow you must have got hold of some powerful Colorado Weed. Or your a govt employee. Because you went off topic.

Arius's picture

off topic?  just replied to your and previous comment ...

you got a long way to go it seems to me ...if you believe in quality and all that so be it.

ACP's picture

So what were we talking about? Sorry, I was distracted by the "Date Arab Girls" ad off the main page.

Independent's picture

Saw an interesting post and here is what he said:

"Brian Ostrander · Top Commenter · Future Sailor at U.S. Navy

Basically since the end of the Soviet Union, the US stepped up its efforts in the Cold War and took advantage of the situation in Eastern Europe to absorb as many countries as possible into NATO in order to push forward that line of contention that had previously been know as the Iron Curtain. With NATO on Russia's doorstep, the US and others would be much safer, knowing that Russia would find it harder to defend themselves with the decrease in strategic depth and the increase in NATO members that might fight them in the event of a war. But the US didn't stop there, and has been continuously trying to get nations like Ukraine and Georgia into NATO in an effort to continue the encirclement of Russia, effectively decimating their defensive position in the event of war.

One of the key requirements for membership into NATO is having 100% sovereignty in all claimed regions and no border disputes, as that is something that can easily drag NATO into an unnecessary war. Georgia notoriously lacked this one requirement. After supporting Georgia's government and training and equipping its military, NATO was likely hoping that Georgia would be able to "solve" its breakaway region problem "on their own". Unfortunately, this plan was obvious to Russia, who in turn backed the breakaway regions in an effort to block Georgia from gaining NATO membership. So, in 2008, Georgia launched an offensive to take back the breakaway regions, especially South Ossetia, which was essentially a big hole in the middle of the country. That region, however, was protected by Russia peacekeeping forces (basically trigger forces) who were there to attempt to keep both sides from attacking each other, which was a constant thing. The Georgians attacked these forces in their assault, thus triggering Russia's response. The Georgians weren't able to block the Russians from invading, and the war was lost pretty quickly. So Georgia seems to be a no go for NATO for the foreseeable future.

Ukraine, on the other hand, had already had a near miss when the western-backed Orange Revolution succeeded several years ago. However, it was short-lived as the Russian-backed counter-operation took back control of the country. Now, this new revolution has just formed a pro-West/US/EU/NATO government, and, taking advantage of its current weak position,

Russia seems to be taking away Ukraine's ability to join NATO by taking Crimea (whether to be annexed or to be made into a puppet state). So, even if the new Ukrainian government lasts, it won't be able to further NATO's encroachment on Russia.

I don't see much we can do, in all honesty. Well, war is an option, albeit a terrible one.

 On an entirely unrelated note, the Russian VMF Marines look really spiffy this time around compared to 2008....."

Now he makes sense but I think we have been poking the Russian Bear a bit too much.  So we the USA can be withing a few hundred miles of their military bases but they dont have that luxury with mainland US bases.  Also after the breakup the Russians wanted to join the western club but we kept them at arms length while we greedily looked upon their natural resources hoping the Russians would fragment and fall apart so then it would be easy pickings.  ILL WILL comes back to haunt and karma is a bitch.  Maybe the Russians will be the ones to have a ringside seat as we implode economically just as they did once.  Also one more thing, I dont think it will Crimea that the Russians will use but rather the Odessa region, since it has the only other port Ukraine can use and it also links to a big Russian population in the breakaway moldovan republic known as Transniester which has been rather isolated.  I think the Odessa region which is more than half Russian will break away from Ukraine and be the chess piece used to keep the Ukrainians in 'CHECK'. because in their drive to join NATO they may realize that Crimea is never coming back and it was never part of Ukraine really.  Odessa would really hurt them because every country needs a decent port, and Odessa is their only other one outside of Crimea, not only that but it is know to have the hottest girls in Ukraine.  Now no Ukrainian would want to give that up to join NATO and those overweight smoking Euro girls that look like Merkel lol

jeff montanye's picture

i don't always agree with you but that link seems apropos.

telling russia that it will be squeezed out of the dollar market, especially considering the "changes" in the iran sanctions last fall, may be far more harmful to the u.s. than russia.  for a possible scenario, see

Arius's picture


You suckers!

PutIn now you dont have the balls to do just that do you?  i didnt think so .... this is the big leagues ... back to the dacha and fighting with the tartars....

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

There are still a lot of US people and careers made from the old Cold War days, so it is not surprising that people still flock to those paradigms.

Fact is, Russia does not need to go to those lengths to achieve the real strategic objective of value: getting the Dollar to lose its GRC status first.

After that happens, all sorts of bets are off. The US/Fed knows this, and are trying to delay the inevitable.

The EU is part of the Eurasian landmass, resources, capital and markets, and players like Russia, China and Iran simply need to "play nice" with the EU to sink the demand for the USTs and the QE-to-infinity Dollar.

Tick, tock Fed, tick tock MIC, tick tock EBTs, tick tock Wall St. When you can't afford good shit anymore, withdrawal and detox are a bitch.

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

exactly. The CIA wasted 5 billion here. Whats the best outcome? a pro west ukrainian govt? So what - it still has to buy its gas off the Bear.

and now the bear is awoken and pissed

Supernova Born's picture

They fucked with Misha while the bear was hosting the Olympics, shedding a tear and playing nice.

Now Misha, still being a bear, but moronically, pointlessly baited by shitty little (yes, them) dogs, is going to rip their face off, if required.

Watching Putin hang his multi-kilo brass balls off a chair and tell the world how it is going to be was refreshing. If not refreshing, at least REAL.

Darwin lives. Putin is Darwinian reality made manifest.

Ukraine, choose wisely.

Normalcy Bias's picture

Their fighters are built to be able to take off from improvised airfields, and can even withstand sucking a bolt off the runway through the engine with no appreciable damage. I just read where the F-22 takes 30 hours of maintenance per hour of flying time. Anyone see a problem?

laomei's picture

From what I understand, the appreciable difference is that the US engines are designed to last and require endless maintenance.  The Russian engines are designed to last for a while and then be swapped out entirely.  

Urban Redneck's picture

Consumers of Russian military hardware (both foreign and domestic) have to pay for it with money that doesn't grow on trees, that does have consequences.

DeadFred's picture

Everyone raise their hands if they think a conflict between Russia and the West will last long enough that maintenance will be a big issue.

astitchintime's picture

Well YEAH, because they are all on the same land mass ... read continent!  Helicopters, trucks and armoured personnel carriers only WORK if you can roll them to the intended destination.

And please get over yourself on the constant reference/link to the F-35.

EDIT  and fighters are sooo yesterday!  We have drones now !!


Element's picture

They're gonna build ~2,600 F-35s. There will be ~4,000 manned tactical fighters in the US military for ~30 years.

And you don't seem to realize that drones are a very limited neiche capability, and highly vulnerable to electronic attack. They are primarily used as electronic support aircraft.

You also don't seem to realize that the bandwidth needed to operate them, and their sensors, and their weapon datalinks, is very limited, very expensive to obtain and maintain in service, globally, 24-7.

Drones crash very often.

fudge's picture

These kids in the Russian army look like Americans kids circa 1950s

An oldie but a goodie :-)

ForTheWorld's picture

It looks like fun, but it's still propaganda.

2¢Wurth's picture

Yeah, and when they get done the damn thing shoots in mud, sand, snow and what have you.  The M-16 takes twice as long to field strip, needs very good ammo to fire faithfully, easy to clog the gas tube and cleaning is a must on a regular basis.  By the way, that's a AK-74, the modern version, not the hokey stuff you see the African insurgents carrying around.  They make their armored personnel carriers like that too - de-tuned engines will run on carrot juice, are environmental nightmares, clunky, loud and grossly uncomfortable, but they cost a fraction of a US model.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Different priorities.  Like the story about NASA designing a 'zero-G space pen', and the Russians using a pencil.

dtwn's picture

And now que the map of the proposed Nabucco Pipeline.  How long before the situation in Syria is escalated once again?

Normalcy Bias's picture

Oh shit. Did Barry not learn how to handle this kind of situation in Alinskyite Ghetto Agitator School before he became our illustrious First Black President? Uh oh!

Tabarnaque's picture

No shit. A Nobel Peace Price who might be responsible for a nuclear war... I vomit on all the neo cons in Washington DC.

williambanzai7's picture

You didn't earn that medal...

nmewn's picture

It was like an Affirmative Peace Action or sumpin.

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

Thank god none of the Russian speaking supporters of Putin within the Ukraine use natural gas. They must have direct connections to the Nuclear reactors or is Putin willing to deny the peace loving Russian people of Ukraine natural gas to heat their homes?  I thought Putin was there to help.



2¢Wurth's picture

Hey.  Ukraine is the one who said they were going to cut back 80% on 1 March.  My apartment is heated (like all Ukrainian apartments) by a boiler in the basement.  It gets below freezing each night (-4ºC tomorrow) and they keep just enough heat going to prevent the pipes from freezing in the walls.  Makes things nice and cozy!  Fortunately I am decadent enough to have bought a heat pump that works to well below freezing, so as long as the reactors keep making electricity I can stay warm.

silvermail's picture

Putin's adviser on economics Sergei Glazyev said:
- Russia will abandon the dollar.
- And also Russia will create its currency system , together with China and other countries.
- And also Russia will abandon all public U.S. Treasuries.
- And also Russia will refuse to return any U.S. loans.
- And also Russia will arrest all assets of the United States and the West.
- And also Russian will stop all Russian oil and gas supplies to Europe. Oil and gas from Russia will go to China.
- And also Russia already has banned the import of meat from the United States.
Goodbye dollar, hello gold. Goodbye to the United States and the West, hello China and East.

jeff montanye's picture

that link didn't do much for me but the points you make seem rather likely.  russia and china probably have at least as much gold reserves as they claim, unencumbered.  not to mention a fair slug in the ground. 

do the u.s. and europe?

Anusocracy's picture

Well, nuclear war is a surefire way of getting rid of the Fed and the reserve currency status.

Tabarnaque's picture

We'll all be back using sea shells for trading after that...

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

You have not been paying attention: Gold and silver Bitch!

Tabarnaque's picture

It might take a few thousand years before we re-discover gold again. But rest in peace as it is ikely that it will take much longer before we re-invent paper again... ;-)

Freddie's picture

The World Is Not Enough

Oddly enough the movie was about gas pipelines going through disputed territories near Russia.  One of the better Bond songs but it is all Mi6 Red Shield BoE Zio propaganda BS but the great Cubby made good money off it.

Putin's cool.  McCain, Obama, Kerry, Nuland and the rest of the RINO NeoCons and Democrats are scum.

Moving those trucks.

zhandax's picture

I think it was Cubby's daughter who made good money off it.  The ol boy has been dead for nearly 20 years.

TungstenBars's picture

Putin had to defend his people.

this, among several other atrocities of russians and jews, were conducted by the supporters of stepan banderas. The western ukraine nationalists (nazis) you hear about in the news are bandera idolizers. The have a paramilitary wing numbering in the 10's of thousands today and are the ones responsible for most of the violence in Kiev. While there are many Ukrainians who wanted a new gov, the people to actually start shooting and torching buildings were these bandera idolizerz.

They hate russians. This is the reason Russia has decided to step in. Europe is not a simple place, there are many factions and some very violent ones that we do not learn of in schools but must educate ourselves about.  

Here is an article from USAToday from January title: 15,000 Bandera Nationalists march in Ukraine.


Freddie's picture

They are some bad people.  I saw somewhere else that NATO uses them as mercenaries worldwide for the nastiest, dirtiest and most evil jobs.  Sickening.

Some of them were fighting with the Islamists in Chechnya.   It was not enough for them to kill Russians but to torture them before they killed them.  Do I believe it? Well they are Zato stooges so yes.

Tracerfan's picture

The West Urkainian neo-Nazis that the US/EU have funded, possibly armed and unleashed are the European version of Al-CIAda.  Crazy and deadly.  They want to kill all Russians, Belarussians, Poles and Jews, as their fathers and grandfathers did.

This is the biggest F*ck up imaginable.  Nuland and her masters bear the responsibility.