Ukraine energy boss hands UK ‘easy’ solution out of EU gas crisis: ‘Can start tomorrow!’

Putin given 'vast power' over European economies says expert

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The Russian President is said to have restricted the flow of gas transiting into Europe as he is hoping to avoid EU law from being implemented on the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Europe is now facing a crisis, as less gas travelling through existing pipelines has not only depleted European gas supplies but so too has it hiked up the prices. This affects the UK as well as Europe as it is an integrated market, and Britain also imports some of Russia’s pipeline gas from the Netherlands.

But Naftogaz’s CEO, Yuriy Vitrenko, has told there is a way to put an end to the soaring gas prices, which reached record highs over the summer.

He said: “There is a very easy way to avoid the crisis.”

Mr Vitrenko suggested that sanctions could persuade Gazprom to start sending more gas back through Ukraine.

He said: “Should Gazprom understand that there is no way they could get Nord Stream 2 approved this year, because of sanctions, for example, they could start sending as much gas as they did through Ukraine as they did last year, and they could do this from tomorrow.”

US President Joe Biden has slapped sanctions on a Russian ship and two companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

But once the pipeline was nearer to completion, Washington announced they would no longer put any more sanctions on Russia regarding Nord Stream 2.

Mr Vitrenko said he was “confused” by this decision.

He added: “We have a firm belief that the US Government had to impose sanctions on this Nord Stream again, but we do believe that it’s better late than never and it will send a message to Putin that the West does not accept this kind of deal.

“We believe that sanctions are the thing to do.”

But with Mr Biden unlikely to offer a helping hand to Europe, Mr Vitrenko suggested another approach that could help the UK instead.

He said: “Another option is UK companies like Shell, for example, could buy more Russian gas on the Urkaine-Russian border, and Shell can then transit this gas to the European market or to the UK, and again it could start tomorrow.”

But he did acknowledge that Gazprom would need some convincing for this strategy to work.

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He explained: “Gazporm is blocking third-party access to their gas transmission system, but should they unblock that access, Shell could transit gas through Ukraine and we have more than enough capacity for that, and we’re talking about really big volumes that could really make a difference in the whole European market inducing the UK’s.

“Prices could come down three times overnight.

“All it takes is for Russia to start treating gas as a commodity then tomorrow there would be now gas prices in Europe.”

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