The US authorities are in a panic because of the possible increase in gas prices after Gazprom cut its energy supplies to the European Union. It was reported by CNN on July 26. The decrease in the amount of fuel supplied to the EU has led to the West entering “uncharted territory” when it comes to Europe’s ability to survive the winter in fuel shortages. Because of this, US officials fear rising gas and electricity prices could boomerang for the US itself.
“That was our biggest fear,” commented a US official.
In addition, because of the supply cuts, the US and EU authorities are being forced to “beg” EU members to reduce their consumption of the blue fuel, expecting to reduce consumption by 15% between August and March.
The U.S. is also trying to persuade Germany to extend the life of the three remaining nuclear power plants in Germany to compensate for the shortage of gas. Officials do not believe these measures will be enough to solve the energy crisis, it said.
This situation has led to a “serious test” of European unity in relations with Russia, as the sanctions imposed against Moscow have not brought the desired result in the West’s position on the situation around Ukraine, CNN concludes.
On 21 July, Newsweek reported that Western countries are feeling fear and fatigue over sanctions against Russia. Despite the expectation of a collapse of the Russian economy, the restrictive measures failed to achieve the initially intended results. At the same time, the U.S. and other countries are feeling the damage of the sanctions as they have triggered a rise in energy and product prices.
On 27 July, Gazprom announced that it had reduced gas supplies through the Nord Stream pipeline to 20 per cent of its maximum capacity. As Gazprom stressed, the reduction in pipeline capacity is due to the shutdown of another turbine. The timing of Siemens’ handover of the repaired turbine from Canada to Gazprom is unclear.