For the supply of gas, Europe depends, among other things, on the Russian Gazprom. Nearly 40 percent of all the gas we used in Europe in 2019 comes from Gazprom. If Russia turns off the gas tap, we will have a shortage, causing prices to rise.
Critics say Russia is misusing the gas crisis to put pressure on Europe. The country would limit gas supplies to Europe in order to quickly gain approval for the commissioning of the new and controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that runs through the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.
According to Putin, this is ‘politically motivated nonsense’. “There is no reason to believe that. On the contrary, we are supplying more gas,” he said during a conversation during Russian Energy Week.
Putin referred to the Cold War when the “former Soviet Union supplied gas to Europe when relations were very bad.” According to the Russian president, Russia is fulfilling all its contractual obligations regarding supplies of gas to Europe.
He spoke of a ‘difficult situation’ in the gas market. According to Putin, it is unbalanced and unpredictable, especially in Europe.
The Russian president believes that agreements should be made to stabilize the market in the long term. “Higher gas prices in Europe are a result of a shortage of energy. We should not put the blame on Russia. There is also a role for the users of gas.”
A Kremlin spokesman said earlier in the day that gas supplies from the Russian state gas group Gazprom to Europe are at a maximum level under current contracts. If Europe wants to buy more gas from Gazprom, new contracts will have to be signed, says spokesman Dmitri Peskov.
Earlier this month, two investment banks noted after a meeting with Gazprom that the company expects the average price for 1000 cubic meters of gas this year to be between 295 and 330 dollars, according to Bloomberg. Earlier this year, Gazprom forecast an average price between $200 and $206.
Perhaps even more annoying than the high price: according to the analysts, increasing gas exports to Europe was not a priority either. First, Gazprom wants to replenish the stocks in Russia, only then can it possibly be looked at increasing supplies to Europe.