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Russian state giant Gazprom's shareholders voted against dividend payments for 2021, which pushed the shares of the company down by close to 30 percent.
"The shareholders decided that in the current situation it is not advisable to pay dividends based on the 2021 results," the deputy chief executive of the company, Famil Sadygov, said, as quoted by Reuters.
Instead of returning cash to shareholders, the state major will prioritize the gasification of Russia, higher tax payments, and preparing for the next heating season.
Meanwhile, Energy Intelligence reported that gas flows via Gazprom's network to Europe had fallen to a record low on a monthly level since the start of June. The sharp decline was a result of a 60-percent reduction in flows via the Nord Stream 1 pipelines.
Gazprom is blaming the reduction on a turbine that was held up by new Canadian sanctions after Siemens Energy had it repaired there, while Germany believes there is a political motive for the cut in flows.
Germany expects further reductions next month as Nord Stream 1 enters regular maintenance, suspecting that the pipeline may not be restarted after the end of the maintenance period amid still-growing tensions between Moscow and Europe.
The latest event to fuel these tensions was the G7's agreement to look for ways to impose a price cap on Russian oil and gas exports as a means of reducing Russia's export revenues from hydrocarbons, which the group says are being used to fund the war in Ukraine.
Earlier this year, as the first sanction packages implemented by the European Union took effect, Gazprom said it would only accept payments in rubles for the gas it sends to Europe.
Despite strong initial opposition from the bloc, most European buyers eventually accepted the rules, with several countries from the EU losing Russian gas flows because they refused to pay in rubles.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.