The claim is controversial. The sharp rise in gas prices in Europe began in August, when Gazprom stopped pump gas into European storage facilities. At the same time, he limited the supply of gas through the Yamal-Europe pipeline through the territory of Belarus and Poland, and for some time completely stopped this gas pipeline for maintenance. At the same time, the Russian gas monopoly refused accept contracts for additional gas pumping through Ukraine and sell gas on electronic trading platforms in Europe.
Of course, Gazprom is not the only culprit behind the rise in prices; European exchange players trading in futures contracts, options, swaps, that is, “paper gas”, and Asian consumers, who have sharply increased the demand for liquefied gas, are also involved in it. But the behavior of Gazprom, which is in no hurry to take advantage of record high prices and sell additional volumes of gas at them, looks as if it is pursuing mainly political goals.
Expert on the oil and gas market, partner of Rusenergy Mikhail Krutikhin in an interview with “Present Time” quoted Advisor to Gazprom, with whom he spoke at the international online meeting of experts:
“We are holding an Italian strike at Gazprom. This means that we will supply such volumes of gas that are stipulated by the old long-term existing contracts. But we will not supply any gas beyond these contracts. And the reason for this is that Europe wants us to show goodwill at Gazprom and give Europe additional gas volumes when Europe really needs it on the eve of the heating season. But why is Europe not showing goodwill towards the Nord Stream 2 project? “
Krutikhin calls it “a clearly formulated blackmail scheme: do as Gazprom wants – violate the European laws on countering monopoly and promoting competition – then we will give you the amount of gas you need for the winter”.
Nord Stream 2 operator Nord Stream AG (subsidiary of Gazprom) disputes in court, the decision of the Düsseldorf Land Court, which refused to withdraw the pipeline from the EU Gas Directive, which requires the operator to be independent from the gas producer, and 50% of the throughput capacity should be reserved for alternative producers. Against the backdrop of this dispute, Gazprom’s “Italian strike” began in August.
But even a parliamentarian from a party that enjoys a reputation as “friends of Putin” in Germany does not support these claims. In the same interview with RBC, he noted that the current situation on the gas market cannot serve as a reason for withdrawing Nord Stream 2 from the EU’s Third Energy Package:
“It’s impossible. The reason is that the European Gas Directive has the force of law. It can be appealed, which is exactly what Gazprom did. But I do not think that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will be removed from the European gas directive because of the gas price. In this case, a court decision is required. “
The party “Left” in the Bundestag is in the minority, and the statement of its representative, even the head of the committee, can hardly be regarded as the point of view of the chamber as a whole. In the recent elections, the “Left” did not overcome 5 percent barrier, but they were able to keep their faction in the Bundestag, since three of its representatives received direct mandates.