German minister slams the U.S. more than ‘astronomical’ natural gas prices

German minister slams the U.S. more than 'astronomical' natural gas prices

October 6, 2022: -Germany’s economic cleric blamed the U.S. and other “friendly” gas supplier states for astronomical prices for their supplies, suggesting they were profiting from the fallout of the war in Ukraine.

“Some countries, including friendly ones, sometimes achieve astronomical prices. Of course, that brings problems that we have to discuss,” Economy Minister Robert Habeck told regional German paper NOZ in an interview published Wednesday, which NBC News translated. He called for more solidarity from the U.S. regarding assisting its European energy-pressed allies.

Habeck, the co-leader of Germany’s Green Party, which is a part of Berlin’s coalition government led by center-left Chancellor Olaf Scholz, said the EU should also do more to address the region’s gas crisis, with countries scrambling for alternative supplies which have pressured prices, even more, that was brought about by the war in Ukraine and deteriorating associations with Russia.

Moscow’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom includes cut supplies to the bloc drastically over the last few months, mainly due to international sanctions and a desire to punish Europe; the EU used to import around 45% of its gas supplies from Russia but is seeking to halt all imports for supporting Kyiv.

Habeck said the EU “should pool its market power and orchestrate smart and synchronized purchasing behavior by the EU states so that individual EU governments do not outbid each other and drive up world market prices.”

He noted that European market power is “enormous,” according to the German news outlet, which has to be used.

Europe is facing a hard winter, with regional gas shortages predicted. Countries like Germany have been especially dependent on Russian gas supplies for decades with massive energy infrastructure, such as the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas channels, designed to bring gas from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea.

While the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline was never even launched, with Germany refusing to certify the pipeline following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Nord Stream 1 has become a means of souring relations between Moscow and Brussels.

Over the summer, gas supplies via the pipeline stopped and started seemingly at Moscow’s whim. Nevertheless, it invariably cited the need for maintenance and sanctions as a reason for halting supplies. But then supplies arrived to a halt in September.

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German minister slams the U.S. more than ‘astronomical’ natural gas prices