New German gas contracts with Russia ‘inconceivable’ – media
The crisis in Ukraine means that new gas contracts with Russia are “inconceivable,” the chair of Germany’s foreign affairs committee told broadcaster RTL/ntv on Thursday, as quoted by Reuters.
Speaking to the media, Michael Roth reportedly said that he could no longer imagine deepening economic relations with Russia.
Roth’s comments come after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special operation aimed at the defense of the newly recognized republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The breakaway regions with a population of around four million people have faced sporadic shelling by the Ukrainian military since 2014.
Earlier this week, Germany suspended the certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, putting the energy project with Russia on hold indefinitely. The Gazprom-led project is aimed at increasing Russia’s capacity to deliver gas to Germany and other EU countries via the Baltic Sea, bypassing transit countries such as Ukraine. Following the suspension, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev predicted that the price of gas in Europe will double to €2,000 ($2,232) per thousand cubic meters.
Europe gets almost 40% of its natural gas supplies from Russia, which are delivered by Nord Stream and other pipelines through Belarus and Ukraine. The EU has seen a surge in gas prices in recent months with the fuel hitting an all-time high of $2,190 in December. The latest developments surrounding Ukraine have sent natural gas prices surging by more than 40% on Thursday, with the commodity briefly surpassing $1,500 per thousand cubic meters (or $144.5 per MWh), according to the London Stock Exchange ICE, before slowing down to about $1,450 per thousand cubic meters.
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