Russian President Vladimir Putin will give a speech on April 26, 2022 at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, at a ceremony honoring the national Olympic athletes and Paralympians.
Maxim Shemetov | Reuters
Davos, Switzerland — President of Russia Vladimir PutinAccording to billionaire investor George Soros, the negotiating position is “not strong enough to pretend he is” and Europe is demonstrating against him.
In a letter to Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Solos said he was “clearly threatening Europe” by threatening Putin to withhold gas supplies.
“That’s what he did last season. He stored gas instead of supplying Europe to Europe. This caused shortages, raised prices and made him a lot of money, but His negotiating position is not as strong as he pretends, “Solos wrote on Monday.
When contacted by CNBC on Wednesday, Russian authorities were unable to get immediate comment.
Russia has recently cut its gas supply to Finland, claiming that the country is not paying for it in the ruble. This move came after Helsinki announced its intention to join NATO, a defense alliance that Putin opposes.
Bulgaria and Poland also stopped receiving Russian gas supply a few weeks ago.In the wake of Russia invades UkraineMoscow announced that “unfriendly” countries would have to pay for Russian gas in the ruble — a policy that would allow the Kremlin to support its currency.
But the message from Solos is that European countries also have leverage over Putin.
George Soros, a Hungarian-born American investor and philanthropist.
Fabrice Cofreeni | AFP | Getty Images
The EU, which consists of 27 countries, receives about 40% of its natural gas supply from Russia, making it difficult for Brock to stop buying overnight.
However, according to Solos, the EU is also a very important market for the Kremlin, and Putin needs gas income to support his economy.
“Russia’s storage capacity is estimated to be full by July. Europe is his only market. If he does not supply Europe, he will have to close the Siberian well where gas comes. Approximately 12,000 wells are involved. It’s time to shut down, and once shut down, it’s difficult to restart due to aging equipment. “
He added that “urgent preparations” need to be made before Europe can use its bargaining power. “Without it, the pain of a sudden stop would be politically very intolerable,” he said. “Europe should impose heavy taxes on gas imports so that prices to consumers do not fall.”
Leon Izbicki, Associate of Energy Aspects, agrees that Russia’s gas storage is almost full.
“Russia recorded a record high inventory of about 72.6 billion cubic meters last winter and is aiming for a higher underground storage target of 72.7 billion cubic meters in the winter of 2022,” Izbiki added in an email. “There is no visibility into Russia’s underground storage, but it seems quite possible that Russia will reach this goal already this summer,” he said.
He added that Russia lacks the flexibility of gas storage and has no means of diversion of gas from Europe to, for example, Asia due to lack of pipeline infrastructure.
Meanwhile, European countries are fighting for an alternative to Russian gas. Since the invasion Ukrainian. For example, the EU and the United States signed a contract in March. To ensure that the region receives at least 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas this year.
This means that Russia has already reduced its gas sales to Europe, coupled with recent supply cuts to Poland, Bulgaria and Finland and international sanctions.
“We expect gas flow to Europe to be about 98 billion cubic meters this year, compared to 141 billion cubic meters last year,” Izbiki said.
George Soros says Russia is threatening Europe with gas
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