Energy Russia’s EU ambassador: Gas will get cheaper if the EU corrects its attitude

The rapid rise in natural gas prices is tightening the gap between Russia and the EU. The Russians are trying to rush Germany into licensing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Gas the price rose to an all-time high on the ICE stock exchange in London last Wednesday and then fell but started to rise again on Monday afternoon, says the Russian state news agency Tass. Prices are more than 60 percent higher than they were last Midsummer.

Russia and its state-owned gas giant Gazprom account for more than 40 percent of EU gas imports. European customers have claimed that Gazprom is hitting deliveries and squandering the price, which has been sharply denied by the Russians.

According to the Russian view, the EU has avoided concluding long agreements with Gazprom for political reasons. Now, in Moscow’s view, the EU has fallen into its own trap and at the mercy of fluctuating market prices for natural gas.

Russian EU Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov hints at the newspaper The Financial Times in a recent interview between the lines that changing the Union’s sanctions policy could improve gas supply and reduce prices.

“The crux of the matter is language,” Chichov said.

“Change your appointment as a competitor to a partner, and things will be easier to resolve. When the political will for this is found, you will know where to reach us. ”

“Putin advised Gazprom to be more flexible. And for some reason I think Gazprom is listening to him. ”

According to Chizhov, all the problems of gas trade are “artificially invented, mainly for political reasons”. By this, the ambassador apparently referred to the delay in the operating license of the newly completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the German licensing bureaucracy.

President Vladimir Putin assured last week that the high cost of gas is not in Russia’s interest. Putin advised Gazprom to strive for steady price developments. Chichov said the same in an interview.

“Putin advised Gazprom to be more flexible. And for some reason I think Gazprom is listening to him. ”

Union foreign policy representative, Spanish Josep Borrell, thought on Monday that Russia was playing a gas game specifically to expedite the Nord Stream 2 pipeline permit.

“Russia wants to use Nord Stream 2,” Borrell told the newspaper El Paísin in an interview.

“Russia is taking advantage of the situation and getting water from its mill here. That attitude is part of the political pressure. ”

The need for Russian gas was not disputed by Borrell, on the contrary.

“We need Russian gas all the time and we probably need it more than the current agreements provide. That is why Spain is right to suggest that the Member States should not hold gas negotiations with Russia bilaterally but jointly, just as has been done with vaccines. We are in an emergency, and the problems of gas supply have geopolitical dimensions. ”

“With geopolitics dimensions ”Borrell referred to the position of opponents of the Nord Steam pipeline. According to them, the biggest sufferer is Ukraine, which is left at the mercy of Russia with its gas pipeline and without brokerage commissions.

Director of the Ukrainian State Gas Company Yuri Vitrenko warned Europe against Russia’s hostile gas policy.

“This is not a saber-rattling but the obvious use of gas as a weapon,” Vitrenko commented on the newspaper. The Washington Post by.

Managing Director of Unum, Germany’s largest gas importer, Fortum’s subsidiary Klaus-Dieter Maubach For its part, it estimated last week that the German permitting process was progressing at its own slow pace, despite pressure and rush.

“Hastening it won’t help us survive next winter,” Maubach said at a news conference in Düsseldorf, according to The Washington Post.

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