The exchange price for gas in Europe at the level of $4,000 per 1,000 cubic meters is not the limit, as the volume at storage facilities is significantly lower than last year, the Russian deputy prime minister and former energy minister, Alexander Novak, said on Wednesday.
According to him, the ban on Russian oil and gas imports could result in a crash of Europe’s energy market.
“It is absolutely obvious that without Russian hydrocarbons, if sanctions are imposed, the gas and oil markets will collapse. The rise in prices for energy resources can be unpredictable,” Novak said.
He pointed out that Washington’s ban on Russian oil and petroleum products has already led to an increase in fuel prices in the US by 19%. At the same time, the share of domestic energy resources in the United States is only 3% of Russian exports.
“Our partners are trying to shift their problems associated with rising prices on to Russia. Although, obviously, our country has nothing to do with this crisis,” Novak said.
He stressed that Russia has never used energy resources as a weapon and that gas supplies to Europe are currently being carried out in accordance with contracts, despite the difficult geopolitical situation.
The deputy PM also said that the EU’s cancelation of the Nord Stream 2 gas project has already led to a huge increase in gas prices, while oil has soared by 40% due to sanctions.
The EU is heavily reliant on Russian fossil fuels. Around 90% of the gas used in the EU is imported, according to the European Commission. Russia provided roughly 45% of these imports at various levels to EU member states in 2021.