Romania’s energy minister blames gas price hikes on Russian speculation of markets

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

Romania’s Energy Minister Virgil Popescu on Tuesday blamed spiking gas prices on Russia for speculating the market.


“We all know the reason for the rise in gas prices. It is a speculation on the market made by the Russian Federation, through (Russian gas giant) Gazprom, “he said Tuesday, reported.

“Gas supplies through Ukraine have been reduced. We estimate that, after the winter, with the start of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, natural gas prices will fall.”

He said European stock exchanges predicted much lower prices for gas next year.

The government has given SMEs and  state subsidies for electricity and natural gas to offset soaring bills.

Gas supplier

Russia is the largest gas supplier to the European Union, which is increasingly dependent on natural gas imports, and it has the power to make a difference.

Russia says it has fulfilled its long-term contracts but experts have questioned why the country hasn’t taken advantage of the prices to trade more on the European market.

Some European politicians and experts say the Kremlin is attempting to pressure regulators to approve the newly completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline.


But other experts argue that Russia doesn’t have spare gas and is trying to fill up its own storage ahead of winter.

Natural gas is the main energy source for heating homes in the EU and demand is much  higher in the winter.

Gas prices hit a peak in the autumn due to low storage levels, high global demand and rapid economic recovery.


Lower than expected supply from Russia also played a role. Russian state-owned Gazprom reporting record-shattering earnings for 2021.

Two months ago, natural gas storage in Europe is low was around 76%, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe. A year previously, it was at around 95% full.

Romania liberalized gas and electricity prices this year, but the minister said it hadn’t fueled the price hikes.

Russian gas giant Gazprom threatens to cut supplies to Moldova


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