Europe has several options to overcome gas shortages and counter Russian gas blackmail.
This was stated in the “Ukraine in fact” program on the UA TV channel by an expert of the Office of Reforms of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Maksym Gardus.
If the European Union is subjected to gas blackmail by the Russian Federation and carries out accelerated certification of Nord Stream-2, it will be a violation of European law.
“If the European Union and the European Commission accept these conditions and, in violation of the norms of the Third Energy Package, and contrary to all procedures, carry out accelerated certification of Nord Stream-2, it will be a violation of European law in the legal sense. In addition, it will demonstrate willingness to make political concessions for the sake of, in essence, financial gain, which will have a negative impact on the political climate in the European Union” – Gardus said.
There are several options to overcome the gas shortage in Europe, including the use of Ukraine’s gas transportation system.
“It has long been known how to overcome the current deficit in Europe. First, Russia’s Gazprom may increase its gas pumping through Ukraine. As you know, Ukraine offered to increase pumping in October and November, but the “Gazprom” refused” – said the expert.
The second option is to allow independent suppliers from Russia enter the European gas market.
“Then the Rosneft, Novatek and others will be able to pass their gas to the European Union, which they cannot do now, and they have gas” – Gardus said.
And the third option is to move the gas checkpoints from the western border of Ukraine to the eastern one, and make it a point for Europeans to receive gas from Central Asia.
“Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have gas. Moreover, in the 1990s and early 2000s, it made it well through Ukraine. Then, due to political decisions, the flow was stopped. But gas from these countries has not disappeared. And they are, in fact, ready to deliver. It would be very profitable for them, given the current prices and the huge demand in the European Union” – explained the expert of the Office of Reforms.
But in order to implement those options, Europe must not collectively succumb to gas blackmail by Russia.
“They should press on Russia so that there is no certification of the Nord Stream-2 at all if Russia does not accept these conditions and does not work in accordance with the Third Energy Package, i.e. agrees to compete with gas supplies to European markets” – Gardus concluded.