But the bad news for Gazprom is that this fall-winter price crisis will only accelerate the energy transition. The political implications for the EU are too high – temporary shutdown of enterprises due to excessive rise in prices for energy carriers, splash inflation. There has been no such crisis for a long time, and it will undoubtedly have political consequences. European governments are already actively betting question about a systemic response to prevent such occurrences in the future.
So far, one can only assume what kind of reaction it will be, but two things are already clear. First, the reputation of natural gas as a “transitional fuel” (slightly more environmentally friendly and climate neutral than coal and oil) suffered greatly – it suddenly became clear that for Europe, the transition to green energy is not only a matter of climate, but also a matter of reducing quite painful dependence on traditional energy suppliers. And this is likely to mean an additional set of measures to support the transition to renewable energy sources.
And secondly, Gazprom can get a whole bunch of additional negative consequences – for example, it has accumulated a large capacity of underground gas storage facilities owned by the EU, but now it can be recognized as a sensitive market infrastructure and force Gazprom to sell storage facilities, as well as gas suppliers were previously forced to relinquish ownership of the pipelines. Or the Europeans will be forced to revise the terms of gas contracts in such a way as to make the supply of additional volumes more affordable – in the past they have repeatedly succeeded in putting pressure on Gazprom to revise the contract conditions.
In general, as often happened, Gazprom and Putin tried to profit tactically from the problems in the European gas market, to take advantage of the deficit for the current blackmail and pressure, but they have every chance of losing strategically. The reputational costs of the undeclared gas war against Europe are enormous – yes, its fundamental reasons are different, but Gazprom could greatly help relieve supply pressure and make good money on it. He chose to increase the pressure – for obvious political reasons. Most likely, in the end it will turn out sideways – Europe will take measures to avoid such blackmail in the future.