The International Energy Agency reports that Russia has sufficient gas resources to increase supplies to Europe and alleviate the energy crisis. The West is increasing pressure to increase supplies regardless of the fate of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is awaiting approval in Europe.
IEA chief Fatih Birol responded to the words of President Vladimir Putin, who suggested last week that Russia could increase supplies. Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak claimed that I would only help launch the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. However, then-Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov admitted that there is a chance to increase supplies along the existing routes. “There is potential, but it depends on demand, contractual obligations and commercial agreements,” he said.
“If Russia does what it offers and increases supplies to Europe, it could calm the market,” Birol told the Financial Times. “I’m not saying he will do it, but he has the necessary authority if he wants to,” he added. The IEA was the first to suggest that the Russians might increase supplies despite their declarations of restrictions, and thus sparked rumors of deliberate cuts in supplies to Europe in order to promote Nord Stream 2.
EU Ambassador to Russia Markus Ederer gave an interview to the RBC newspaper, in which he warned that Russians’ refusal to respond to Europe’s calls could harm them. – There should be some concern on the Russian side, because the current situation can accelerate the transition from gas to renewable energy sources in Europe. Secondly, in my opinion, Russia’s reputation as a reliable supplier could suffer if it turns out that it cannot or does not want to respond to the growing demand at the moment. I’m not even talking about the lack of reaction can be interpreted as an attempt to exert pressure in order to speed up the commissioning of Nord Stream 2, ”the ambassador said.
Putin proposed to increase gas supplies on Gazprom’s digital platform. However, the Ukrainians claim that they have gas pipelines at their disposal on the Dnieper, which they reserve as little as possible. According to Kiev, this indicates political action and deliberate evasion from this route in order to promote Nord Stream 2. This gas pipeline will be able to start operation only after it is verified that its operation complies with the antimonopoly norms of the Third Energy Package under the Gas Directive. The Russians have proposed a temporary solution to bypass this certification, but have been met with harsh criticism, including a call from the European Parliament for sanctions and blocking supplies through the pipeline in case of abuse by Gazprom.