The Austrian Energy Minister announced her intention to terminate the agreement with Gazprom

The Austrian Energy Minister announced her intention to terminate the agreement with Gazprom

Austrian Energy Minister Leonor Gewessler announced plans to explore options for exiting gas supply contracts between Austria's OMV and Russia's Gazprom (MOEX: GAZP). She added that the ministry intends to oblige companies to reduce the share of gas from Russia in their purchases.

“If gas suppliers do not act on their own initiative, then legal obligations are necessary,” clarified Leonor Gewessler (quoted by APA).

The agreement between OMV and Gazprom is valid until 2040, which, according to Ms. Gewessler, has caused a “cemented dependence.” By the summer, the minister instructed the Institute for Economic Research to analyze the economic consequences of terminating the contract and the risks of long-term dependence on Russian gas.

Leonor Gewessler has criticized Austrian energy companies for not purchasing enough natural gas from other countries. She also advocated a new security strategy under which the country would stop using gas from Russia from 2028. Last summer, Russia accounted for half of the gas purchased by Austria. At the same time, at the end of December 2022, the share of Russian gas was about 70%.

A lawmaker from the opposition Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), Axel Kassegger, criticized the energy minister's proposal. “The termination of gas supply contracts will be another shot in the knee and will further accelerate inflation and drive business into the wall,” leads O.T.S. politician's statement.

In December 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the sale of the share of OMV and the German Wintershall Dea in joint ventures with Gazprom. Austrian company named expropriation decision and said it was considering steps to protect its rights.

Read more in the Kommersant article. "On guard of fallowness".

Petr Buzlaev

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