Russia is serious: no rubles – no gas. The Russian state-owned company Gazprom stops deliveries to the Netherlands. But this has no consequences for the time being.

The Russian state-owned company Gazprom no longer wants to supply gas to the Netherlands from Tuesday because the gas importer does not want to pay its bills in rubles.

Gazprom will not deliver ordered two billion cubic meters of gas from May 31 to September 30, the Dutch gas company GasTerra announced on Monday in Groningen. However, major consequences for companies and households are not expected.

No supply bottlenecks expected

In response to the sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine, Moscow decided that European countries must pay for energy in Russian currency. Otherwise the delivery stop was threatened. The Netherlands is not the first country to carry out this threat. Energy supplies had previously been stopped for Poland, Bulgaria and Finland.

According to GasTerra, however, there will be no supply bottlenecks because gas has already been purchased elsewhere. The contract with Gazprom expires on October 1 anyway. Energy Minister Rob Jetten does not expect any major disadvantages for households and the economy either. “The government will monitor the situation closely in the near future,” he said in The Hague.

The Netherlands gets about 15 percent of its gas needs from Russia, about 6 billion cubic meters a year. However, the government had already taken measures to stop being dependent on Russian energy by the end of the year. The gas storage tanks should be full by winter. In addition, more liquid gas is to be imported.

So far, the government has ruled out that production from its own gas fields in Groningen in the north-east will be restarted. But it is unclear whether this is still tenable now that Gazprom supplies have ended prematurely.

Due to major damage caused by a large number of smaller earthquakes, production in Groningen had been greatly reduced. Production was scheduled to end this year. Therefore, the Groningen company GasTerra will also cease operations by the end of 2024.