Monday, January 17

Putin to Germany: “You resell gas to Ukraine”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that it is unfair to blame Moscow for historically high natural gas prices in Europe. He assured that the Russian company Gazprom meets all its supply obligations.

Putin stated in an annual media briefing that Gazprom has to fulfill its obligations under long-term agreements before supplying gas to spot markets.

He also replied that countries that have signed long-term contracts – like Germany – now enjoy much lower prices and can even resell gas to their neighbors profitably.

“Europe has created its own gas problems and it should solve them itself,” Putin said, adding that he suspects that some of the Russian gas led to Germany is ultimately being resold to Ukraine.

Gas drops 15% from highs

In parallel, gas prices in Europe fell on Thursday. The reference price was down 15 percent from its all-time highs.

While the Yamal gas pipeline, which usually carries Russian gas to Europe through Germany, continued to flow in the opposite direction.

This means that, for the third day in a row, the pipeline is sending gas normally used to heat homes and generate electricity in Europe from Germany back to Poland.

This coincided with the filling of the recently completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea, which does not pass through Ukraine, by Gazprom. The Russian giant is preparing it to start supplying gas to Europe sometime next year.

Gas prices in Europe had hit a record this week, amid mounting tensions between Moscow and western countries over Ukraine, after the flow of the Yamal pipeline changed direction. Russia said the change had no political implications.

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