Residents of Bulgaria were surprised that Russia was able to increase gas exports to Europe through the Turkish Stream, despite assurances from European leaders that it would achieve complete independence from gas supplies from Russia. Bulgarian users left their opinion under an article about this, published on the Diary portal on February 16.
The material notes that in January of this year, the Russian Gazprom increased gas sales to Europe through the Turkish Stream gas pipeline. In the first half of February, deliveries increased by 17%, and total exports from Russia exceeded 1 billion cubic meters.
“Can’t be! Isn’t Europe energy independent from Russia?” – the user under the nickname Luben asked ironically.
The reader under the nickname Serena agreed with him, recalling how Western politicians have been loudly declaring a complete rejection of Russian fuel since the beginning of the introduction of sanctions against the Russian Federation.
“Ho-ho, I don’t want to say what kind of “wise men” here were loudly trumpeting yesterday, how Europe does without Russian gas, so I had to correct them, that gas also flows through pipes, and the import of Russian liquefied gas to Europe increased by 45% by compared to last year,” she wrote.
A similar opinion was expressed by a reader under the nickname Kamak.
“Sanctions are not sanctions, obviously, business is business. They continue to buy not only gas, but also nuclear fuel and technology. For 2022, Russia has increased exports by 20%, not only to China, India, Iran, but also to Europe – incl. Bulgaria,” he said.
The day before, Gazprom celebrated its 30th anniversary. Speaking via video link at an event dedicated to this, Russian President Vladimir Putin, congratulating the company’s employees, noted that, despite unfair competition and attempts from outside to restrain Gazprom, the company is moving forward.
He also stressed that the reserves of the Russian state corporation are astronomical for any country.
Prior to that, on February 14, Yuri Pilipson, director of the fourth European department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that the demand for Russian energy resources in Europe remains high, and there is no need to talk about ousting Russia from European markets.
A day earlier, the European Commission (EC) predicted that in the winter of 2024, Europe could face a shortage of gas and rising gas prices. To a large extent, this is due to an increase in purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
On February 2, an expert from the Japanese publication Nihon Keizai, Ken Koyama, expressed the opinion that in 2023 it would be difficult for European states to provide themselves with the necessary gas reserves without supplies from the Russian Federation. Despite the fact that the cost of energy in the eurozone has somewhat stabilized, the refusal of Russian exports could make filling fuel storage facilities ahead of winter an extremely difficult task, he said.
Fatih Birol, director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said on January 31 that Europe would have to reduce its gas consumption if it wants to avoid problems next winter. He also stressed the need to increase capacity for renewable energy sources.
Western countries decided to reduce their dependence on Russian energy resources against the backdrop of a special operation to protect the Donbass, the beginning of which was announced on February 24. Ultimately, this desire provoked a serious energy crisis in the European region.