Alexey Gromov, Principal Director on Energy Studies of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to Pravda.ru on the current situation on the European gas market and Russia's ability to influence it.
Alexey Gromov noted that the Russian Federation has ceased to be critically dependent on the volume of oil and gas revenues, among other things, due to sanctions pressure.
The expert explained that earlier the proceeds from the export of oil and gas went mainly to the National Welfare Fund (NWF), and "we kept this money in US bonds, in other securities in foreign markets." Now access to these markets is closed for Russia, so it is impossible to accumulate reserves in foreign financial instruments.
Also, according to Alexei Gromov, oil and gas proceeds were used to purchase the necessary goods and equipment abroad. But due to sanctions pressure, this import channel is now limited.
According to the expert, the reduction in gas exports supports high prices for it. In addition, now Russia's increase in oil and gas revenues is "even unprofitable" from the point of view of the country's trade balance.
The expert believes that Russia could solve the European problems of filling UGS facilities, for example, by using alternative routes for gas supplies, but "fundamentally does not do this because of an openly unfriendly position of Germany."
"In this case, the ruble will strengthen to those values that are already unprofitable for Russian exporters, and therefore for the economy," said Alexei Gromov.
"I think that the Gazprom's position is this: if the EU wants to get away from Russian gas soon, let them try to do it right now. Let's see how Germany will cope with this challenge," Alexey Gromov said.
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