(Slay News) – Russia has cut off the supply of gas to Italy after the European nation’s new populist prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, declared her support for Ukraine.
The Italian Center Right Party won big in the national elections last Sunday.
The victory makes Meloni the first female leader in Italy’s history.
On Wednesday, in one of her first announcements since winning her election Giorgia Meloni pledged her full support for Kyiv after receiving congratulations from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for her election victory.
On Saturday, Russian energy giant Gazprom suspended gas deliveries to Italy.
The company blamed a transport problem in Austria.
The company does not see any new deliveries to Italy until Monday.
The Italian energy giant Eni said they were informed that a transport problem in Austria meant the Russian gas supplier would not be able to deliver any gas until at least Monday, The Daily Mail reported.
Meloni previously said Putin “threatens the security of the entire European continent” and that his annexation of four Ukrainian regions has “no legal and political value.”
Putin has been at loggerheads with European countries over the supply of natural gas and has been accused of using the flow of gas needed for energy in the region as an economic weapon.
Most of the Russian gas delivered to Italy passes via Ukraine through the Trans Austria Gas Pipeline (TAG), to Tarvisio in northern Italy on the border with Austria.
Gazprom later in the day said in a statement that the transportation of Russian gas through Austria had been suspended “due to the refusal of the Austrian operator to confirm the transport nominations.”