As of today, on November 18, Belarus will cut off electricity supplies to Ukraine. This decision came into force in accordance with the established procedure of interaction within the framework of contractual relations. This was reported to BelTA the day before by the press service of the Ministry of Energy of Belarus .
“The possibility of further supply of electricity to Ukraine will be considered by the Belarusian side, taking into account the technical possibilities,” the press service said
Meanwhile, in the morning of November 17, the relevant Belarusian Ministry announced the disconnection of the А1 BelNPP power unit from the grid due to the operation of the automatic protection system.
The decision was announced a day after German regulators suspended the approval process on the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia.The move has dealt a blow to Europe’s already fragile energy market and the price of natural gas spiked on Wednesday.
The global energy crunch has taken the continent by surprise and suppliers have been struggling in recent months to meet the increased demand for energy.
Gas prices have already soared since the year began and many experts now fear Europe will not have enough gas to keep homes warm this winter.Europe relies heavily on the import of gas from outside of the EU’s borders, with Russia being the bloc’s biggest supplier.
But there is a concern that Moscow has been deliberately withholding supplies to gain political leverage and push through the approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.The £8.4billion (€10billion) project runs directly from Russia to Germany, bypassing Poland and Ukraine in the Baltic Sea.
Last month, President Vladimir Putin suggested Europe could solve the energy crunch simply by rubberstamping the pipeline.
He said: “The German regulator should make this decision. They have not yet decided.
“Of course, if we could expand supplies along this route, then, 100 percent, I can say with absolute certainty, the tension on the European energy market would significantly decline, and that would influence prices, of course. This is an obvious thing.”
Ukrainian officials have also criticised Russia’s recent gas deals with Hungary, in what they said was a direct threat to the country’s national security.
German regulators suspended the pipeline approval process and have called on a Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 consortium to form a subsidiary under German law.
The move aims to show the consortium has enough financial backing from its Russian parent, the state-owned Gazprom.
On December 8, energy market participants received a letter from Belenergo regarding the suspension of electricity supply under framework agreements from November. The Belarusian state-owned enterprise also announced that it would not conclude similar agreements in the future.
Belenergo later clarified that the country will continue to sell electricity to Ukraine during November, and a letter on the suspension of supplies under framework agreements dated December 8 was sent to specific companies that are not scheduled to supply electricity in November 2021.
Earlier, Belarus stated that it would resume electricity exports to Ukraine on December 6. The supply was to run until the end of November.