The boss of Ukraine gas giant Nafotgaz has offered the UK a way out of the crisis that looms over Europe following Vladimir Putin’s squeeze on natural resources.
By JACOB PAUL
Oct 4, 2021
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 Netherland
But Naftogaz’s CEO, Yuriy Vitrenko, has told Express.co.uk 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 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 has to impose sanctions on this Nord Stream again. We 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 Ukraine-Russia 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.