The gas issue in Europe should not be placed solely on Moscow, Stephen Sestanovich discusses this in an article for the Council on Foreign Relations.
“Many analysts point out that Russia is attempting to enhance output in every manner possible (while keeping its own reserves at the appropriate level),” Sestanovich adds.
Too many global, regional, and local forces, he claims, altered the gas situation in Europe at the same time.
At the same time, Sestanovich argues that Russia is ready to take advantage of its trading partners’ weaknesses. This, he believes, is demonstrated by recent gas problems with Ukraine and Estonia, as well as “tying supply with Nord Stream 2 certification.”
Sestanovich also believes that, as a result of the European crisis, regulations in the energy industry, as well as plans to invest in its own production of blue fuel, may be amended.
Gas prices in Europe have skyrocketed in recent months. They have nearly quadrupled since the beginning of August.
Experts attribute the price increase to a number of causes, including low occupancy levels in European subsurface gas storage facilities, restricted supply from key suppliers, and rising demand for liquefied natural gas in Asia.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin directed that planned work to enhance the volume of fuel in European subterranean gas storage facilities begin. Such steps, Putin believes, would result in “a more advantageous scenario on the European energy market as a whole.”