Europe faces “unprecedented risks” to its natural gas supplies this winter after Russia cut off most pipeline shipments and could wind up competing with Asia for already scarce and expensive liquid gas that comes by ship, the International Energy Agency said.
President Vladimir Putin has denied Russia had anything to do with Europe's energy crisis, saying that if the European Union wanted more gas, it should lift sanctions preventing the opening of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Finland and Switzerland provided billions in financial support to power companies on Tuesday, as Europe scrambles to secure energy supplies in a deepening crisis sparked by Russia's move to shut a major gas pipeline.
Russia halted gas supplies via Europe's key supply route on Wednesday, intensifying an economic battle between Moscow and Brussels and raising the prospects of recession and energy rationing in some of the region's richest countries.
Nearly two-thirds of European territory is in a state of drought alert or warning due to heatwaves and low rainfall, reducing inland shipping, electricity production and the yields of certain crops, an EU agency said on Tuesday.
Russia will halt natural gas supplies to Europe for three days at the end of the month via its main pipeline into the region, state energy giant Gazprom has said, piling pressure on the region as it seeks to refuel ahead of winter.
Russian oil flows halted to parts of Europe should resume after Hungarian group MOL paid transit fees owed to Ukraine, officials and a minister said, providing a temporary solution to the latest disruption of Russian energy supplies.
Flight disruption in the UK was the worst in Europe in recent months, according to TUI, while Manchester was the most-affected airport, as the travel operator reported a €75m (£63m) hit from air traffic chaos.
European Union countries approved a weakened emergency plan to curb their gas demand on Tuesday, after striking compromise deals to limit the cuts for some countries, as they brace for further Russian reductions in supply.