Instruction to Gazprom: Putin wants to fill Europe’s gas storage facility

Instructions to Gazprom
Putin wants to fill Europe’s gas storage facility

Russia’s president opens the gas valves for Germany and Austria. When the domestic reservoirs are full, Gazprom is to increase delivery volumes in early November. So far, Putin made this dependent on the commissioning of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered European gas storage facilities to be filled. Putin told the head of the state gas company Gazprom, Alexei Miller, that Russia’s own storage facilities must first be replenished. After that, the levels in the gas storage facilities in Austria and Germany should be increased. Putin said this should ease the situation on the European energy markets. At a televised cabinet meeting, Miller said home storage should be full by November 8th.

Gas prices had recently risen sharply due to low inventories and growing demand after the pandemic crisis. In view of this development, the focus is generally on Russia as a major exporter, but the focus is also on Moscow for the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Just under a week ago, Putin announced that Russia was ready to increase the supply of natural gas to Europe after Germany had certified the pipeline. In the meantime, the Federal Ministry of Economics has stated that an analysis has come to the conclusion that “the issuing of a certification does not endanger the security of the gas supply to the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Union”.

Altmaier does not see Russia on the trigger

Opponents of the line, such as the USA and Ukraine, argue that Europe is thus becoming heavily dependent on Russia. Gazprom critics suspect that the group will not react to the increased European demand in order to force the pipeline to go into operation quickly. The Russian side had denied such allegations.

The outgoing Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier sees no problem in supplying Germany with natural gas. “We will have security of supply this winter,” said the CDU politician. “The gas storage facilities are now properly filled again.” The decline in gas deliveries to Europe was not due to Russia failing to meet its obligations. In fact, many gas traders were hesitant to place orders because they had been waiting for better prices.

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