Russia indefinitely cut off delivery of methane-based gas to Europe, Gazprom said Friday. The state-owned energy company blamed the Nord Stream 1 pipeline shutdown on maintenance issues, just hours after the G-7 announced a joint cap on Russian oil prices, itself an effort to reduce Russia revenue from foreign fossil fuel sales.
The full shut down of Russian gas deliveries is a marked escalation of its leveraging of Europe’s dependence on its methane-based gas in order to prevent a more forceful response to its invasion of and atrocities in Ukraine since late February. While increased energy prices across Europe have driven up inflation — as European leaders have to obtain energy from non-Russian sources and store up methane gas for the winter — those efforts have reduced Putin’s leverage in the region. (Washington Post $, New York Times $, CNN, Reuters, Axios, USA Today, Axios, Newsweek, FT $, Wall Street Journal $, CNBC, Wall Street Journal $, New York Times $; G-7 Price Cap: The Hill, CNBC)