Service members from Chechen Republic walk during fighting in Ukraine-Russia conflict in the city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 15, 2022. REUTERS/Chingis Kondarov NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

A dozen European Union countries have now been affected by cuts to gas supply from Russia, EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said on Thursday, as the bloc faces a deepening energy standoff with Moscow.

Russia slashed flows through its Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 40% of
capacity last week citing problems with equipment, having already cut
gas to Poland, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland over
their refusal to comply with a new payment scheme.

Timmermans said 10 of the EU’s 27 member countries have issued an
early warning on gas supply – the first and least severe of three crisis
levels identified in EU energy security regulations.

He repeated Brussels’ assertion that Russia has weaponised energy
supplies. Russia has denied the cuts are premeditated.

The EU relied on Russia for 40% of its gas before Moscow invaded
Ukraine. With Russian supply dwindling and gas prices soaring, some
countries have increased use of coal power plants, while insisting this is
temporary and will not thwart climate change targets.