23 Dec 2021 16:20

Ukraine demand could be one part of soaring gas prices in Europe - Putin

MOSCOW. Dec 23 (Interfax) - Demand from Ukraine - which usually receives gas not from Russia, but from the west - may be one of the components of the surge in spot gas prices in Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Gazprom said that it would not book transit facilities for the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline this week because buyers had not submitted bids.

At the same time, gas is being pumped in the reverse direction from Germany to Poland through Yamal-Europe. When more gas came from Russia, then the reverse was virtual, but now it has become actual.

Putin did not ruled out that the reverse flow of gas from Germany to Poland could subsequently be directed to Ukraine, which creates a gas shortage and a rise in prices in Europe.

""They [buyers from Germany], having taken up a certain volume, having received from us 5.6 billion more than stipulated by long-term contracts, are now selling it. There is a pipe there that connects the Polish pipeline system with the Ukrainian one. The volume is about 3 million cubic meters a day. This is exactly how much the Federal Republic of Germany is sending to Poland. I have every reason to believe that this gas eventually ends up in Ukraine. And consumers in Europe and Germany need to know what is actually going on. And it may be possible to request that certain instances clarify this position," Putin said.

"And instead of sending it to Poland and then to Ukraine and helping them stay on their feet, would it not be better to carry out further supplies to Europe, to the same Federal Republic? And influence the spot price, because the more of a product there is on the market, the lower the price will be. No - they started pumping there. In reverse. This is the problem, what does Gazprom have to do with it? So let them take care of their own issues and respond to them in time. They should not think they are so smart. The problems that they created for themselves should be solved by them, and we are ready to help and do it," he said.

Asked whether Gazprom was responsible for the gas shortage in Europe, Putin said: "Of course not, There's no truth in this. It's just an attempt to turn everything upside down again. They keep lying all the time," he said.

"Yesterday they were still screaming, oh no, Russian expansion, Gazprom is cornering the market. We are not cornering anything. Yes, we supply a lot, and we are not the only supplier to the European market, but we are the only one to increase supply. They tell us you're pumping gas to the spot market. We need to satisfy first the requests of our counterparties for long-term contracts," Putin said.

"Gazprom supplies the entire volume requested by our counterparties under existing contracts. And not only the entire volume, but is increasing supplies to the far abroad, increasing then to Europe a well. The official authorities are shaking their oil and gas companies, while they are not investing enough in their own production. Some western operators keep their gas in underground storage in Ukraine as well and are starting to take it out and use it in their own countries because the gas they take out is much cheaper than buying it on the market," he said.