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Ukraine’s gas pipeline operator on Wednesday shut down the flow of Russian gas through a key transit point in the east of the country which is currently occupied by Russian troops, in a move that could partially disrupt supplies to Western Europe.
The Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine stopped accepting incoming Russian gas through a border entry point called Sokhranivka, accusing Russian forces of interfering with the operation of gas facilities in the area and siphoning off supplies.
The company said that the move will cut off about one-third of Russian gas transiting through to the rest of Europe, although Russian state-owned oil and gas giant Gazprom pegged the figure at a quarter.
The Ukrainian operator said that Russia should redirect supplies through the Sudzha transit point in northern Ukraine, which is in an area under Kyiv’s control, but Gazprom dismissed this as “technologically impossible.”
According to the Associated Press, flow data from Wednesday suggested that a higher volume of gas was moving through the Ukrainian-controlled transit station.
The gas supply comes at a time when Ukrainian forces have begun to enjoy some success in the battle around the eastern Donbas region where they have managed to push Russian forces out of four villages.