Economy, Europe

Algeria threatens to cut off gas supplies to Spain

Moving gas exported to Spain to a different destination breaks contract, says Energy Ministry

Ebu Bekir Askin   | 28.04.2022
Algeria threatens to cut off gas supplies to Spain

ALGIERS, Algeria

Algeria threatened Wednesday to cut off gas supplies to Spain if any of the gas winds up in a different location than specified by a contract.

Transporting any amount of Algerian gas to a different destination is considered a breach of contractual obligations and would lead to the termination of the contract binding state-owned energy company Sonatrach and the Spanish customer, Algeria's Energy Ministry said in a statement.

As Algeria broke diplomatic relations with the Moroccan administration, the Maghreb-Europe Gas Pipeline -- with a capacity of 12 billion cubic meters connecting Algeria to Spain via Morocco -- has not been used since last October.

Spain’s Energy Ministry earlier confirmed that it planned to ship gas to Morocco but noted that none of that gas would be of Algerian origin.

Diplomatic tensions between Algeria, Madrid

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez sent a letter to King Mohammed VI of Morocco on March 14 saying they found the "autonomy plan" proposed by the Rabat administration to solve the Western Sahara problem to be correct.

Algeria recalled its ambassador to Madrid for consultation on March 19 after Sanchez supported the Moroccan plan for the solution of the Western Sahara problem.

Regarding close relations with Morocco, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said “what Spain is doing is morally and politically unacceptable.”

The Western Sahara problem has caused tensions in the relations between Morocco and Algeria. Morocco accuses Algeria of supporting the separatist Polisario Front. It is known that Algeria does not support its neighbor Morocco's steps in Western Sahara.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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