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Ukraine Cuts Off Russian Natural Gas Pipeline Supplying Europe

Ukraine Cuts Off Russian Natural Gas Pipeline Supplying Europe

The fight for Ukraine played out beyond the battlefields on Wednesday, with Kyiv cutting off one Russian natural gas pipeline that supplies European homes and industry, while a Moscow-installed official in southern Ukraine said the Kremlin should annex Kherson after Russian troops took control. 

Ukraine's natural gas pipeline operator said it was stopping Russian shipments through a hub in eastern Ukraine controlled by Moscow-backed separatists because of interference from enemy forces, including the apparent siphoning of gas. 

About one-third of Russian gas headed to western Europe passes through Ukraine, although one analyst said the immediate effect might be limited since much of it can be redirected through another pipeline. Russia's giant state-owned Gazprom said gas flowing to Europe through Ukraine was down 25% from the day before. 

The European Union, as part of its announced effort to punish Russia for its 11-week invasion of Ukraine, is looking to end its considerable reliance on Russian energy to heat homes and fuel industries. 

It has, however, encountered some opposition from within its 27-member bloc of nations, especially from Hungary, which says its economy would sustain a major hit if its supply of Russian energy were cut off. 

In Brussels, negotiations with Hungary over a ban on Russian energy purchases ended Wednesday for the moment. If not resolved, it would constitute a major split among NATO allies in unified Western sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin to sanction him for his invasion of Ukraine. 



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