Austria fears that Ukraine will cut off the possibility of supplying Russian gas to its territory, so it is considering options for refusing it. However, experts say aif.ruthis is unlikely to be done in the near future.
Previously Head of the Austrian Ministry of Energy Leonore Gewessler appealed to the authorities of the republic to prepare a way out of the contracts for the supply of gas from Russia, which was concluded by the Austrian oil and gas concern OMV.
As explained expert of the National Energy Security Foundation and the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation Igor Yushkov, Austria does not have such a powerful industry as, for example, in Germany or northern Italy. “They mainly use gas for heating. In Europe, in general, gas is most often spent on heating. They buy it all year round, but in the summer they pump it into underground storage facilities, and in the winter they consume it to generate electricity and provide heat. Of course, there are also certain industries that use gas – part of the chemical industry, metallurgy, but in terms of volumes this cannot be compared with the Germans,” the expert clarified.
However, in general, the specialist emphasized, Austria is the largest hub in Europe and it was from this country that the first supplies of Soviet gas to Western Europe began. “This was more than 50 years ago, and it is in Austria that the delivery and acceptance point for many contracts between Gazprom and Western companies is still located. Austria was chosen as this point because it was the first country outside the socialist bloc that was not yet a member of NATO, that is, it was neutral. From there the gas was distributed to all other countries. The largest gas hub still exists in Baumgarten, near Vienna,” the specialist added.
Today, according to Yushkov, Austria has started talking about the possibility of stopping Russian gas supplies primarily due to fears that these supplies may cease. “Currently, gas reaches Austria exclusively through Ukraine. There is only one route left. Previously, Nord Stream 1 ended in Austria. Nord Stream 2 had not yet been launched, but its continuation on the land territory of the European Union passed through Germany, the Czech Republic, and entered Slovakia and Austria. All gas pipelines actually ended in Austria, and now only transit through Ukraine remains. Kyiv closed one pipe in the spring of 2022 – it passed through the territory of the LPR. Now the Austrian authorities quite reasonably fear that Ukraine will block the last pipe. In Ukraine, the heating season will now end, and the United States will actively put pressure on it, because their goal is to finally squeeze Russian gas out of the European market. Of course, Austria needs to take care of its position in such a situation in advance,” the interlocutor explained aif.ru.
However, added the leading expert of the National Energy Security Fund, Researcher at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation Stanislav Mitrakhovich, Vienna will not be able to refuse Russian gas supplies overnight. “Contracts will only be broken if something completely extraordinary happens. We have problems with Austrian companies. For example, OMV has now lost control over its assets in Russia. They had shares in some fields, in trading companies, so perhaps this is how they are trying to answer. But in fact, they have nothing better than Russian gas, which is now flowing to Austria. It takes a few more years to build alternative chains that would be economically acceptable. In two years, a new volume of liquefied natural gas from America and Qatar should arrive in Europe. There, perhaps, Austria will feel more free, but in the next year and a half I would not expect them to refuse Russian gas,” the expert concluded.
It was previously reported that a moratorium on the export of American LNG is beneficial to Russia.
This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.
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