In a recent address at the Social Democratic Party (SPD) congress, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz blamed Russia for halting gas supplies to Europe amid rising energy costs.He accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of stopping gas flows through a functional pipeline, significantly reducing Germany's gas intake and contributing to a shortfall in Europe's energy reserves.
"Russia: Yes, Russia stopped supplying energy to Europe... It was the Russian president who halted gas supplies through a working gas pipeline," Schoz stated. "This has implications for energy prices."But that narrative collapses in light of his country's role in imposing sanctions on Moscow and restricting the flow of Russian energy to Western Europe.
Scholz's decision to align with the US and Britain in sanctioning Russian energy sources worsened Germany's problems.
The nation has denied itself around 120 billion cubic meters of Russian gas as a result. Germany has instead increased gas imports from Norway and built new liquified natural gas (LNG) on its northern coast to import more-expensive supplies from the US — all choices made by the West, not Moscow.
The gas supply situation worsened further following last year's terrorist attacks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines that run from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Several countries, including Germany, Sweden, and Denmark, have conducted investigations into the incident, but have failed to name a culprit and refused to share their findings with Russia.
Russian authorities have accused the US and Britain as the main forces behind the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines.
Nikolai Shulginov, head of the Russian Ministry of Energy, stated in November that Russia had not "closed" the western direction of energy supplies and continues to be a reliable gas supplier even under current challenging conditions.