Putin orders gas resources to replenish Europe

President Putin has commissioned the Russian state-owned Gazprom company to replenish gas supplies in Western Europe with Russian gas, once domestic reserve storage is back up and running. This is expected to be the case no later than 8 November.

Putin expects the extra Russian gas to reduce prices on the European energy market. The gas price in Europe is being driven up by the phasing out of gas extraction in Groningen, the growing demand due to the approaching winter and the increasing economic activity after the relaxation of the corona measures. Gas supplies in Europe are also smaller than other years due to the last harsh winter.

Nord Stream 2

So far, despite urgent requests, Gazprom has barely pumped gas to European storage facilities. According to critics, Moscow restricts delivery to quickly get approval for the commissioning of the new and controversial gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, which runs from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea.

There

is a lot of criticism on the pipeline. The US and some EU countries say that Europe is becoming too dependent on Russian gas, allowing the Russians to use it for political manipulation. And Ukraine is angry because it is missing out on revenue because the pipeline was not built by that country. Previously, Ukraine charged a tax for the transit of gas.

Putin has always denied that Russia is supplying less gas this fall. According to him, the country fulfils its contractual obligations and delivers even more gas than originally agreed.