MOSCOW, 8 Sep — PRIME. Vyacheslav Kulagin, Director of the Center for Energy Research at the Institute for Pricing and Regulation of Natural Monopolies at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, commented on the topic of an attempt to artificially limit the cost of Russian gas, which, at the initiative of the European Commission, is planned to be discussed by representatives of the EU countries on September 9.
“There are direct supply contracts, any attempt to limit gas prices is a violation of the contract,” the expert notes. “Accordingly, the buyer must notify Gazprom that it no longer intends to fulfill the contract on the terms that have been signed, that it will pay less or something else. From that moment on, the contract becomes null and void, but there are still good enough options to sue for non-performance of the contract, and Gazprom or the gas recipient will no longer have any obligations.”
“Gazprom”, in turn, can safely stop deliveries, since they are not paid. According to Kulagin, this is exactly what those who go for the establishment of an artificial “price ceiling” will achieve.
“At the same time, there are a number of European countries that are quite dependent on supplies from Russia,” the specialist recalls. “The situation here is a little more complicated, because there are consumers who receive Russian gas today. “. But they have already calculated and say that if now they just stop buying and taking in exchange in the spot market, then prices will rise significantly.”
In addition, today it is difficult to find free volumes all over the world, the speaker clarifies. And they also need to be transported to the territory of some countries, in the case of which there are additional difficulties in this sense. That is, Kulagin concludes, a number of problems arise, and if this is stated as an attempt to decide how to help save the population and industry from high energy prices, then the result will be the opposite.
“Therefore, I am convinced that a number of countries will oppose this, and it will simply not work to make an agreed decision at the EU level, it will kill the economies of several states at once,” the expert sums up. Limiting gas prices today is pure politics, he adds. Perhaps this will not become an obligation, but the right of some countries, the expert admits.
However, as Kulagin put it, “in the spring, a test was already conducted “Who wants to buy gas for rubles”, and those countries in Europe that decided to refuse did it even then. “And, by the way, a number of them are coming back today,” notes the expert. “Thinking about how to restore the supply of Russian gas, and already the mechanism of payment in rubles does not seem strange to them.”
At the same time, the expert notes that attempts to establish a marginal cost for volumes from Russia are carried out under a far-fetched pretext, as if Russian supplies have led to very high prices on the market. “In particular, the new Prime Minister of Britain said that it is necessary to allocate 130 billion pounds to somehow alleviate this problem,” Kulagin clarifies. “Only Britain was one of the first to refuse oil and gas supplies from Russia. Britain does not receive Russian energy resources “.