New contracts might be wanted for Russian vitality firm Gazprom to extend its pure fuel deliveries to Europe, Russia’s Power Minister Nikolai Shulginov mentioned Wednesday.
Europe has been combating a surge in fuel costs and a stagnant provide. As economies ramp up after the easing of coronavirus restrictions, the demand within the continent has spiked.
Gazprom has been the most recent flashpoint of tensions between Russia and the European Union, as lawmakers in Brussels accuse the corporate of elevating costs for political strain.
Russian officers have defended Gazprom, saying the corporate is supplying fuel based mostly on the offers made with Europe.
“If there are requests, that may solely be by way of the institution of recent contractual obligations,” Shulginov mentioned, describing Russia as a “dependable provider.”
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov additionally mentioned Wednesday that “nothing might be delivered past the contracts.”
“How? Without spending a dime? It’s a matter of negotiating with Gazprom,” Peskov instructed reporters.
Peskov insisted that Russia has fulfilled all contractual obligations “to the attainable most.”
A day earlier, a Russian official mentioned Gazprom was even utilizing its inventories to pump extra pure fuel into the pipeline community to stabilize surging costs.
Putin blames electrical energy scarcity
Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned on Wednesday that electrical energy shortages have been behind the fuel value rise in Europe, “and never vice versa.”
The fuel market in Europe is neither balanced nor predictable, Putin mentioned, as he reiterated that Gazprom was assembly its contractual obligations.
Putin additionally pinned the blame on European international locations who depend on “the invisible hand of the market,” referring to the short-term so-called spot markets, the place pure fuel is purchased as the necessity arises.
Earlier this yr, Gazprom refused to extend provide in these spot markets.
Final month, a bunch of members of the European Parliament (MEPs) requested the bloc’s Fee to probe Gazprom’s position within the rising pure fuel costs.
The MEPs mentioned Gazprom’s habits made them suspect market manipulation and an “effort to strain” Europe to agree a quick launch of the controversial Nord Stream 2 fuel pipeline between Russia and Germany.
Nevertheless, Russia denies the accusations, and President Vladimir Putin has blamed the fuel disaster on “errors” by Europe.
fb/aw (AFP, Reuters)