By the end of 2021 and in January 2022, Gazprom’s supplies dropped sharply. In the first days of the new year, the company was delivering to the EU only 54 million cubic meters per day – half as much as on the same dates a year earlier.
Due to reduced supplies, storage facilities in Germany and Austria were depleted. At the beginning of 2022 there was less gas in them than at the end of the heating seasons of the last five years.
“There are significant elements of shortage in the European gas market due to Russia’s actions,” said the head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin during a large press conference on December 21 said that the reduction in Russian supplies is due to a lack of demand from European consumers. “What is there to supply if there are no purchase orders?” wondered Putin.
A week later, at a meeting on gas issues, he said that Russia would increase gas supplies as soon as the EU approves the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.