Vladimir Putin has the fate of a UK’s winter in his hands after he “outmaneuvered” Angela Merkel on gas supplies in Europe, experts have warned.
The German Chancellor struck a deal with the Russian President for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to export gas from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, bypassing Poland and Ukraine.
But to avoid Berlin from implementing EU law across the system, Mr. Putin has reportedly restricted the flow of gas into Europe that traveled through existing pipelines putting pressure on European gas supplies.
This affects the UK, as it imports Russian gas from the Netherlands.
It comes as gas prices are already soaring, with experts warning that central heating could be a “luxury for the rich” this winter.
John Lough, Associate Fellow of the Russia & Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, says Russia has “outmaneuvered” Germany on Nord Stream 2.
Economic commentator Ambrose Pritchard-Evans has even warned that “Russia will determine Britain’s winter fate”.
He pointed out that the UK has no national strategic storage of gas in reserve, making matters even worse for Britain.
He wrote in the Telegraph: “This Government will have to explain why Britain’s gas storage capacity was slashed to 1.7 percent of annual demand when the global norm is a safety buffer of 20 percent, and why it has subcontracted the task to countries in Continental Europe, now facing their own supply squeeze.”
Gazprom, the state-owned Russian gas company in charge of the pipelines, also chose not to bid for a top-up of flows in October through Nord Stream 2, further hiking up gas prices and posing a threat to European gas supplies.
British energy suppliers have started to collapse after soaring wholesale gas prices bumped the cost of energy above the price cap.
Two companies, Avro, which supplies gas and electricity to 580,000 customers, while Green serves roughly 255,000 customers in the UK and some customers abroad, have both gone bust in the midst of the energy crisis.
The global energy watchdog, the International Energy Agency (IEA), has called on Russia to export gas more gas to Europe to put an end to the energy crisis.
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