Alexey Belogoryev, Deputy Principal Director on Energy Studies of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to the Internet portal Gazeta.Ru, why Gazprom refused the rubles from its former subsidiary.
According to Alexey Belogoryev, Germany's ruble payment for gas is not formally a violation of Russia's requirements, but it violates the ethical standards of fuel trade between Moscow and Berlin.
Will the EU give up Russian gas?
Gazprombank's decision not to accept Germany's ruble payment, coupled with the cessation of Russian gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, could accelerate the EU's withdrawal from Gazprom's fuel. However, this process would have become inevitable without the aggravation of trade relations between the monopolist and a number of European countries, Belogoriev emphasized.
"Gazprom" will not lose the key buyers in the EU, but will not be able to influence the reduction of Russia's gas supplies to Europe, Belogoriev believes. A "green" energy transition will accelerate this process.
“If the governments of Germany and Italy do not put a spoke in the wheels of Uniper and Eni, these companies will open ruble accounts with Gazprombank. Poland and Bulgaria have lost Russian gas due to the refusal of forced currency conversion. That is, we have come to the status quo. It is not surprising that the Eastern European countries have returned to the rhetoric of Moscow's energy blackmail,” the expert says.
At the same time, he noted that the EU will not be able to do without Russian gas for at least a year in the next four to five years - it will be necessary to replace huge volumes of supplies. But by the end of 2022, Russian gas transit to Europe may be sharply reduced.
“Europeans will be able to do without Russian gas for the next three to four months, even without austerity measures. They have the necessary margin of safety for this. However, this will disrupt the process of pumping gas into underground storage facilities, which will create risks for the uninterrupted passage of the autumn-winter period,” Belogoryev suggested.
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