By Tom Balmforth
KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has told Europeans to expect a difficult winter as the Russian attack on his country has led to cuts in Moscow’s oil and gas exports.
Zelenskiy was speaking on Saturday night after Moscow closed a main pipeline that supplies Russian gas to the mainland.
“Russia is preparing a decisive energy blow to all Europeans for this winter,” he said in his daily video speech.
Moscow cited Western sanctions imposed for its invasion of Ukraine and technical issues for the power outages. European countries that supported the Kiev government with diplomatic and military support accused Russia of arming energy supplies.
Some analysts say shortages and a rise in the cost of living as winter approaches risk weakening Western support for Kiev as governments try to deal with disaffected populations.
Last week, Moscow said it would keep the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, its main gas pipeline to Germany, closed and the G7 countries announced a planned price cap on Russian oil exports.
The Kremlin said it would stop selling oil to any country that implemented the cap.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday that his government planned a total halt to gas deliveries in December but promised his country would survive the winter.
“Russia is no longer a reliable energy partner,” Scholz told a news conference in Berlin.
(Reporting by Tom Balmforth in Kiev; Additional reporting by Michael Shields)