Germany accuses Russia’s gas tycoon of inflating energy costs

Germany has accused the Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom of trying to raise energy prices.

Gazprom claims to control gas emissions in Germany of less than 70 million cubic meters per day – less than half of current levels. This is due to the maintenance of equipment on the Nord Stream pipeline.

But German Economy Minister Robert Gebeck said it was a “political decision”, not a technical one. This is a strategy to increase prices openly and without hindrance.

Gazprom first announced on Tuesday that it would reduce the flow of rolling gas from Stream 1 from 167 cubic meters per day to 100 cubic meters, but on Wednesday announced that it would reduce it to a further 67 cubic meters.

According to energy company ENI, Gosprom cut its gas supply to Italy by 15% on Wednesday. Like Germany, Italy is heavily dependent on Russian gas, which accounts for 40 percent of its imports.

The move comes two weeks after EU leaders agreed to suspend most Russian oil imports by the end of 2022 to punish Moscow for occupying Ukraine. Russia has already cut off natural gas supplies because Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands have refused to pay rubles to “friendly countries”.

Russia’s demand for tariffs was seen as an attempt to raise the ruble after Western sanctions. Demand for more foreign currency per ruble is likely to increase demand and increase the value of money.

Mr Hobeck said Russia’s actions had shown that European countries needed to end their dependence on fossil fuels immediately. In February, Germany suspended the opening of the Potik-2 gas pipeline shortly before the start of the Russian war in Ukraine.

The gas minister said he would wait to see what effect the move would have on European and German gas markets, but said suppliers could always find gas from other sources. “We also have no problems with supplies in Germany,” he said. “Gas storage is likely to continue. We have improved in this area in recent days and weeks.

“However, we will definitely have to wait two or three days to get a full overview of how everything is formed now.”

In another building, the European Union signed a contract with Israel and Egypt aimed to increase the amount of Israeli natural gas exported to European countries.