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After several European countries last week said that they received significantly less gas from Russia than usual, the head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol has warned that a bitterly cold winter could be ahead if Russia stops supplying gas to Europe.

When confronted about the amount of gas received, Russian officials denied it was deliberate and have put the blame on technical issues.

Birol told the BBC he believes that the recent Russian reduction in gas supply is “strategic”.

“I wouldn’t rule our Russia continuing to find different issues here and there, and continuing to find excuses to further reduce gas deliveries to Europe and maybe even cut it off completely.”

Several countries across Europe have reported that they haven’t received their full capacity of gas this month. Italy, Austria and Slovakia have all reported shortfalls in gas supplies from Russia.

The BBC reports that France says it has received no Russian gas from Germany since 15 June while Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands have had their Russian gas deliveries suspended after they refused a demand to pay in Russian roubles.

While Russia hasn’t confirmed anything yet, Birol believes Europe is set for a cold winter and countries will have to stock up with the current oil supply to try and reach an 80% capacity by November.

Image credit: Euronews

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