US suggests Russian “manipulation” of gas prices in Europe

The US wants “everyone to be aware of the issue of any manipulation of gas prices through hoarding or failure to provide an adequate supply.”

US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm warned this Wednesday against “manipulating” gas prices in Europe through “failure to provide adequate supplies.”

“The United States has made it clear that we and our partners must be prepared to continue to intervene when there are agents who may be manipulating the offer for their benefit,” said Granholm, who is visiting Warsaw, at a time when ministers European Union (EU) Energy and Transport authorities discuss rising energy prices.

A group of around 40 MEPs asked the European Commission in mid-September to investigate the energy company Gazprom, accusing the Russian economic group of cutting gas supplies through Ukraine to force Germany to approve the rapid commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline across the Baltic Sea. Gazprom denied any manipulation of the market.

“We want everyone to be aware of the issue of any manipulation of gas prices through hoarding or failure to provide an adequate supply,” defended the US Energy Secretary. “We are taking this very seriously and are standing with our European allies to ensure they get an adequate and affordable supply of gas this winter,” added Granholm.

“We need cooperation (…) at European level to protect our populations at home”, underlined the Lithuanian Energy Minister, Dainius Kreivys, while his Austrian counterpart, Leonore Gewessler, denounced the “too much dependence (of the EU) on the Russian gas”.

The impending energy crisis in Europe is dominating the informal meeting of European ministers in Slovenia and the European Commission has already said it is “closely following” the rise in energy prices and is discussing “tools” with member states to contain them. Electricity prices, which have been rising sharply for months in the wake of global gas prices, have recently soared in several EU countries.

Rising prices threaten to exacerbate fuel poverty across the EU: a study published Wednesday by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) estimates that nearly three million of Europe’s working poor “can no longer pay” their fuel bills. warming this fall and this winter.

Source: with agencies

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