Austrian energy exec sheds light on Russian gas imports

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Vienna is still heavily dependent on Moscow’s supplies despite government claims otherwise, says the outgoing head of Energie AG

Almost half of Austrian gas imports are sourced from Russia, according to Werner Steinecker, the outgoing chief executive of the country’s energy giant Energie AG. Talking to reporters on Wednesday he said statements that reliance on Russian ‘blue fuel’ has been reduced to 20% are simply not true.

“Although dependence on Russian gas has decreased, but not from 80 to 20%, as some federal politicians want to convince us … Rather, up to 40-50%,” Steinecker told OONachrichten newspaper while commenting on previous statements by Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer.

According to Steinecker, Russian gas which is imported by Europe “in detour” is then no longer “called Russian.” We are talking about “false labeling,” that’s “one hundred percent,” he stressed.

Steinecker also said that the United States will continue to keep gas costs for the region at a high level due to its 20-year take-or-pay contracts. He noted that Washington is currently profiting on the supply of expensive liquified natural gas (LNG), and is hindering the rapprochement between Russia and Europe.

The Austrian Energy Agency (AEA) reported recently that natural gas prices in the country soared 119% in October in annual terms and were up by 5.6% compared to September of this year. According to the agency, the energy price index increased by 1.6% in October compared to the previous month and by more than 50% compared to the same period last year.

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