The International Energy Agency (IEA) is pressuring Russia to end Europe’s gas shortage.
The International Energy Agency urged Russia on Tuesday to increase gas delivery to Europe in preparation of increasing winter demand, as global supply remains constrained, driving up prices.
In a statement, the IEA stated, “Russia might do more to improve gas availability to Europe and ensure storage is filled to acceptable levels in preparation for the approaching winter.”
It went on to say that opening the tap would be an opportunity for Russia to “underline its credentials as a dependable supplier to the European market.”
Higher demand, especially this year’s extremes of hot and cold weather, and supply constraints caused by “a series of unforeseen outages and delays across the globe, as well as postponed maintenance until 2020,” have pushed up gas prices, according to the IEA.
In recent weeks, electricity prices in Germany and Spain “have been approximately three or four times the averages observed in 2019 and 2020,” according to the report, owing in part to rising gas prices.
However, Moscow has stated that it will not send more gas until the contentious Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany is operational.
“There is no doubt that bringing Nord Stream 2 online as soon as feasible will help to level out the price parameters of natural gas in Europe,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said this week.
Despite opposition from Germany’s eastern EU and NATO allies such as Poland, the Baltic states, and the United States, the pipeline was finished this month, despite claims that it gives Moscow too much control over Europe’s energy supplies.
Nord Stream 2 has been dubbed a “Russian geopolitical enterprise that is a poor bargain for Europe” by the US State Department.
And Ukraine, which has been at odds with Russia since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014, has warned Europe that the pipeline might be used as a “dangerous geopolitical weapon” by Moscow.
However, as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to improve transatlantic relations, the US eased sanctions on the project imposed by previous President Donald Trump earlier this year.
However, the pipeline must still receive permission from Germany’s authority, as well as a potentially months-long investigation by the European Commission, before it can be put into service.
According to AFP, a Commission official said, “Nord Stream 2 is not a project in Europe’s common interest.”
He added that Brussels’ “goal is to ensure that Nord Stream 2 operates in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner… in accordance with international and European energy law.”