Russia is contributing to the energy disaster gripping Europe by restricting fuel provides at a time of “heightened geopolitical tensions”, the head of the International Energy Company has claimed.
In unusually pointed reviews for an organisation which generally stays neutral, Fatih Birol claimed that Moscow experienced capability to improve profits to Europe by extra than 3bn cubic meters per month which would “provide substantial reduction to European fuel markets and would press the fuel charges down”.
He stopped small of declaring Russia was working with fuel provides for political leverage, but claimed the small fuel flows “coincide with heightened geopolitical tensions about Ukraine. I just needed to emphasize this coincidence”.
World-wide level of competition for all-natural fuel provides has led to months of soaring wholesale all-natural fuel charges in Europe and the Uk, with British homes braced for a 56pc increase in energy expenses to £2,000 in April when the energy price tag cap is recalculated. A whole of 26 suppliers went bust very last year in the wake of surging fees.
The Uk federal government is below force to check out and lessen the influence on homes amid a tightening price-of-residing squeeze, though governments in Europe have stepped in with measures this kind of as France’s distribution of vouchers to enable people pay their expenses.
Russia has been accused of working with the disaster to force Germany into setting up up the new Nord Stream 2 fuel pipeline connecting the two international locations below the Baltic Sea – a controversial go since it would give one more route by which fuel shipments could bypass Ukraine.