Europe itself is largely to blame for the current energy crisis, and the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated global inequality. These are the conclusions reached by the participants of the XIV Eurasian Economic Forum in Verona, the correspondent of Izvestia reports. This year, politicians, entrepreneurs, diplomats and experts from different countries are participating in the event in a hybrid format. Successful energy transition and overcoming the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic are also among the main topics. – it increased inequality in the world, as a result of which the rich became even richer and the poor even poorer.
We have gas. And you?
This year the Forum in Verona is being held both face-to-face and remotely: everyone who could not come in person can watch the broadcast on the site. Before the two-day event, world leaders approached the participants. So, Vladimir Putin noted that they will have to consider the possibilities of effective development of the continent, where over 70% of the world’s population lives. Pope Francis expressed the hope that the audience will work to develop a dialogue to ensure respect for the “common home”…
A special session of the XIV Eurasian Economic Forum in Verona was dedicated to structural changes in the economy and the future of energy… The participants paid special attention to the crisis that has developed in Europe, as a result of which the price of gas rose sharply over the past few months and in October exceeded $ 1,900 per thousand cubic meters. m.
Former Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl told Izvestia that the blame for the current situation in the EU countries lies with the Europeans…
– It is not the Russians or the Arabs that are to blame. This is an internal crisis… There are many factors involved. There is an overly ambitious plan for the transition to a new type of energy, the European Green Deal, but you cannot give up something without replacing it with something. So this is a self-made crisis, – the politician emphasized.
According to the former German Chancellor, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rosneft Gerhard Schroeder, the rise in the cost of natural gas in Europe was also influenced by the increased demand in Asia, especially in China. The PRC is ready to buy gas at high prices, so it is an attractive sales market for suppliers.
– It is time for Europe to stop blaming Russia for this situation, stressed Gerhard Schroeder… – China has imported much more gas in recent years. Asia is booming and demand is increasing. This is the factor behind the rise in gas prices.
The head of Rosneft Igor Sechin, in turn, noted that the crisis in Europe showed the high importance of commodity stocks… He pointed out that due to a lack of long-term contracts, gas storage facilities were only 75% full, compared with a 10-year historical level of 90%.
“Against the backdrop of growing demand, the limited possibilities of alternative generation to ensure stable electricity supplies not only in winter, but also in summer and autumn more comfortable in terms of weather conditions, led to record gas prices,” the top manager added.
Today the price of spot gas in Europe has dropped to $ 980 per thousand cubic meters. m, said the executive director of the capital market department of IC “Univer Capital” Artem Tuzov. But despite such a significant correction, it is still five times higher than in January 2020. Russia provides comprehensive support to Europe in the issue of gas supplies, he said. So, on October 27, Vladimir Putin ordered Gazprom in November to start increasing reserves in gas storage facilities in Europe.
By the end of the year, as they fill up, it is possible to cool down in the gas market, the price of which may drop to $ 600 per thousand cubic meters. m, predicts Artem Tuzov. And Europe can help itself by speeding up the certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
The imbalance in the European energy market was caused by a sharp increase in demand as a result of the rapid economic recovery and the inability to adequately expand the supply of gas, Alexander Amigaryan, head of the Economy of the Fuel and Energy Complex Sectors, told Izvestia. Russia, in turn, can help stabilize the situation in the European gas market by increasing gas supplies, the analyst said.
Speaking about the conditions for a successful energy transition, Igor Sechin noted that this process should be balanced.economically determined and socially responsible: the world community should develop a unified approach to the global climate problem, and do not look for the culprit and do not use unilateral protectionist measures…
At the same time, he believes that discouraging the development of traditional energy sources will cause an even greater rise in prices: “the era of relatively low energy prices, which lasted almost 100 years and became the main stimulus for the development of the world economy, may come to an end“.
On the first day of the Rosneft Forum signed several contracts… So with the Singaporean Trafigura signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the oil supply chain. We have agreed with the Italian Maire Tecnimont to implement the investment project “Construction of a VGO hydrocracking complex” at the production site of the Ryazan Refinery.
A real disaster
Another important topic that was discussed at the forum is the coronavirus crisis and its consequences.… Antonio Fallico, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Banca Intesa, President of the Association “Explore Eurasia”, said that The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated global inequality, making the rich richer and the poor poorer…
– More than 3 billion people are forced to survive on less than $ 5.5 a day, 1.3 billion live on a dollar a day and do not have access to drinking water, and 2 billion could not use electricity. Over the past 40 years, the incomes of the richest 1% have more than doubled the incomes of the poorest half of the world’s population. The richest 1% own 18% of the world’s wealth, said Antonio Fallico, stressing that the pandemic has only exacerbated these trends.…
According to him, in the next two years, the prospects for economic growth and recovery look positive, but a number of challenges remain. For example, uncertainty and lack of jobs due to business closures. Coronavirus pandemic – it’s not even a black swan or an exogenous shock, but a real disaster, the banker emphasized.
Igor Sechin agreed that there is still uncertainty in the world. Collective immunity has not yet been formed, he stressed.
– Vaccines alone are not enough to successfully overcome the pandemic. We also need medicines. Medicine and pharmaceuticals should work ahead of schedule, – said the head of Rosneft.
Insufficient vaccination remains the main obstacle to effectively combating COVID-19, and this problem is especially acute in poor developing countries, Oleg Buklemishev, associate professor of the Faculty of Economics at Moscow State University, told Izvestia.
In his opinion, there are no universal measures to overcome the negative socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, since the political and financial conditions in the world are extremely heterogeneous.
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