PRAGUE, November 26. Czech companies began receiving gas from Russia in October, said the head of the country’s Ministry of Industry and Trade Josef Sikela.
“We do not need Russian gas supplies to the Czech Republic and have created reserves for this winter without it without any problems. This week we learned from monthly data from the ERU (Energy Regulatory Authority) that, despite this, some trading firms have begun supplying us with gas from Russia since October. Overall, until the end of October, gas from Russia amounted to 1.2 percent of total supplies for 2023,” he wrote on the social network X.
According to the minister, the import of Russian gas to EU countries is not subject to sanctions, since some states still cannot do without it. At the same time, he considered it necessary to inform consumers that they take gas from suppliers who buy fuel from Russia.
Sikela argues that the start of supplies does not change the fact that Prague “has definitely gotten rid of its dependence on Russian gas “. At the same time, he proposed exploring the possibility of introducing restrictive measures at the national level or coordinating actions within the European Union.
Since January 2023, the Czech Republic, as Sikela previously reported, has not received gas from Russia. Now it comes to the republic via a pipeline from Norway, as well as from the USA and several other countries through a floating LNG terminal in the Netherlands.
Last Thursday, the semi-state energy concern ČEZ, on behalf of the Czech Republic, signed an agreement to lease for 15 years part of the capacity in the onshore LNG terminal under construction near Hamburg in Germany, which should be ready in 2027.
The EU market has been “historically the main one” for Russia; gas supplies there reached 150 billion cubic meters annually. In 2022, against the background of the undermining of the Nord Streams, as well as sanctions, cooperation between Moscow and European countries in this area was curtailed. At the end of 2022, Gazprom’s gas supplies to non-CIS countries decreased by almost 85 billion cubic meters to 100.9 billion. Almost all of this drop occurred in the European Union.
At the same time, according to recent Eurostat data, EU countries (including ardent supporters of Kiev – Estonia and Lithuania), despite promising to abandon Russian fuel, purchased from Moscow in In 2023, liquefied natural gas worth 6.1 billion euros.
The Kremlin said that the West had made a serious mistake by refusing to buy hydrocarbons from Russia; it would fall into a new, stronger dependence due to higher prices . Those who refused will still buy at a higher price through intermediaries and will buy Russian oil and gas.