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25 Dec, 2021 19:30

Claims Russia ‘choking’ European gas supply are ‘lies’ – Gazprom

Claims Russia ‘choking’ European gas supply are ‘lies’ – Gazprom

Saint Petersburg based energy giant issues strongly worded reply denying supply manipulation accusations.

Accusations leveled by some Western officials against Russia over allegedly halting gas transit to Western Europe to push the approval of Nord Stream 2 are false, Gazprom said on Saturday.

“All accusations alleging that we undersupply gas to the European market are absolutely baseless, unacceptable and inconsistent with reality,” the company's spokesman, Sergey Kupriyanov, told journalists, adding that all such statements are nothing but “lies.”

The heated statement came in response to accusations leveled against Moscow by some Western officials earlier this week. Gazprom’s Yamal-Europe pipeline, which brings gas from Russia to Germany through Poland and Belarus, saw shipments halted. 

The development prompted some politicians to assume that Russia is playing politics and pushing for the approval of its recently built Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is yet to be passed by the German regulator. Fully constructed in September, the pipeline has faced vehement opposition from Poland and Ukraine – two transit nations bypassed by the Baltic Sea pipeline, which stand to lose billions of dollars in annual revenues – as well as the US.

Berlin recently said it would decide the project’s fate on a non-political basis.

The Russian gas giant said it simply fulfilled all its existing contractual obligations and did not receive any new supply requests from the relevant European nations, like Germany and France. The company supplied 50.2 billion cubic meters of gas to Germany alone this year, Kupriyanov said, adding that it was 5.3 billion cubic meters more than last year.

Gazprom also fulfilled all its obligations related to gas supplies through the Ukrainian gas transport network as early as on December 15 but still continues to transport gas through Ukraine’s territory.

“All the problems were created by Western Europe itself,” Kupriyanov said, adding that one should “look in the mirror” instead of “placing the blame on Gazprom.” The spokesman also said that the company is ready to supply additional volumes of gas within the existing contract framework.

On Friday, the New York-based financial news media outlet Bloomberg reported that a halt in deliveries was not due to some malicious schemes in Moscow but because of the fact that Gazprom’s western buyers had hit their contractual limits for 2021.

Europe saw gas prices skyrocketing this autumn, sparking fears of an energy crisis and leading to initial accusations against Moscow. This week, gas prices rose about 20% again, prompting another wave of heated rhetoric from the West.