The smooth flow of Europe’s winter energy supply from Russia is in doubt. Belarus is threatening to stop gas transit. It is in a row with Moscow over how much it is willing to pay for its domestic needs. On January 1st, the Russians are threatening to cut off their friends in Belarus. A source at Russia’s Gazprom likened the standoff to last year’s with Ukraine.
A company spokesman said concessions were ending: “Gazprom is not Santa Claus.”
Gazprom said it has cut its price proposal to $105 per 1,000 cubic metres. Belarus now pays just over $46. Minsk has rejected a price break consisting of handing over its distribution company.
Critics have already accused Moscow of using energy to exert political pressure on neighbours, and Russia is trying to cultivate a ‘reliable supplier image’ with its EU customers.