Leonid Slutsky: “NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, during his visit to Germany, referred to the words of the head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, that Gazprom was allegedly manipulating gas prices in the EU. Like, there was a decrease in Russian gas supplies to Europe in conditions when Russia could significantly increase exports.
In fact, it is precisely for Mr. Stoltenberg and a number of European officials who are trying to “shift from a sick head to a healthy one” that it is time to stop engaging in manipulations.
Yes, Europe faced a serious energy crisis at the end of last year, but this happened due to a combination of factors, as Western experts and officials have repeatedly said, some of whom can hardly be suspected of sympathy for Russia. Among the real reasons are the growth in demand for gas in Asia and the decrease in the share of wind generation.
Any accusations of manipulating the gas market against Russia – either then or now – are absolutely groundless. Representatives of “Gazprom” previously directly stated their readiness to supply additional volumes of gas under existing long-term contracts, and the price for them is significantly lower than wholesale prices. In general, Russia always fulfills its obligations, while in Europe they are constantly trying to politicize Nord Stream 2.
Mr. Stoltenberg should rather ask his colleagues why the European gas storage facilities turned out to be practically empty. Probably, winter suddenly came to Europe at the end of the year, and Russia is also to blame for this.”