Ruble renunciation just an excuse?: Putin wants to drive gas prices up with threats

As soon as Kremlin boss Putin threatens to cut off gas supplies to countries, the price of the raw material rises.

Ruble renunciation just an excuse?: Putin wants to drive gas prices up with threats

As soon as Kremlin boss Putin threatens to cut off gas supplies to countries, the price of the raw material rises. According to a government adviser, there is a perfidious plan behind this. The expert considers it very likely that Russia will also turn off the gas supply to Germany at some point.

According to a German government adviser, Russian President Vladimir Putin is using threatening gestures to drive gas prices up in a targeted manner. "Putin has already turned off the gas taps in some countries - allegedly because they refused to pay in rubles," said Jens Südekum, a member of the German Economics Ministry's Scientific Advisory Board. But in reality he is concerned with something else: he wants to create uncertainty in the markets and thereby drive up gas prices.

"Germany is also affected by this perfidious mechanism," said the professor of international economics at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. So far, the gas supply is still secured. Because a loss of income from the large German market would also be painful for Putin. "But every time he threatens or actually imposes a delivery stop to other countries, the spot price for gas, which forms the basis of many contracts, shoots up," said Südekum. "So he earns more money in Germany with the same delivery quantity."

The expert assumes that there will also be threatening gestures from Putin towards Germany in the next few weeks. "Ultimately with the same goal: create panic and drive prices up." The big question is whether Russia will actually get serious at some point and whether Germany will turn off the tap. "You have to know that he can only do this once," said Südekum. "Because once the gas pipelines run empty, part of the infrastructure is damaged and cannot be used again."

The federal government wants to make Germany independent of Russian gas by mid-2024. "But will Putin wait that long and allow Germany this self-determined farewell? It is more likely that he will act before then and turn off the tap," said the expert. "So he can once again create chaos in German industry before he writes off the business."

Most recently, the Russian state energy giant Gazprom said it had stopped supplying gas to the Danish supplier Ørsted and Shell Energy Europe - due to non-payment of rubles. Gas deliveries to Bulgaria, Poland, Finland and most recently the Netherlands were also stopped beforehand.

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