Russia is significantly increasing gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine amid negotiations with the West on security guarantees, where the Kremlin was offered a "carrot" in the form of negotiations on the non-deployment of missiles and a "stick" in the form of tough sanctions, including against the inner circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Since February 1, Gazprom has doubled transit through the Ukrainian gas transit system and brought it almost to the volume required by the long-term contract, Interfax reports, citing data of the Transmission System Operator of Ukraine.
The volume of gas transit has reached 107.7 million cubic meters per day against an average of 54 million in January. The contract, signed at the end of 2019, requires Gazprom to deliver 109 million cubic meters daily.
The increase in gas supplies through the Ukrainian transit route dropped gas prices in the EU. At 13.08 Moscow time, March futures on the London ICE exchange were trading at 75.5 euros per megawatt-hour, or $ 879 per thousand cubic meters, losing 10.6% in price.
April gas futures now cost less than $ 850 per thousand cubic meters, and summer contracts have fallen in price to almost $ 830.
The increase in gas delivery through Ukraine came a day after the United States and Britain said they were ready to impose tough sanctions against oligarchs from Putin's inner circle, as well as their family members.
A Reuters source in the administration of Joe Biden said that measures under the CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) will be used in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Putin's cronies will no longer be able to use their spouses or other family members as proxies to evade sanctions. Sanctions would cut them off from the international financial system and ensure that they and their family members will no longer able to enjoy the perks of parking their money in the West and attending elite Western universities," the source told Reuters.
On Sunday, the possibility of tough sanctions against oligarchs close to the Kremlin was announced by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. She did not rule out that the real estate of the Russian elites in London will be confiscated, and the assets of Russian energy companies, which are listed on the London Stock Exchange, will be frozen.