Moscow, 9 November 2021 (dpa/MIA) – Russian energy producer Gazprom says it has begun filling storage tanks with gas destined for sale in the European market, which could take the edge off worries about shortages on the continent as winter draws near.
The company said it has approved a plan to fill the gas into five underground facilities this month, according to a Tuesday press release. It said that work has already begun.
With energy prices spiralling amid concerns about shortages, Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered the company last month to boost supplies for Austria and Germany. At the time, Gazprom boss Alexey Miller had said that would be possible as of November 8.
Gazprom has come under heavy criticism from Europe, with many officials saying it had not prepared adequately for European demand.
Some argued that Russia had reduced supplies as part of an effort to pressure Germany to give final approval to the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline, which would bypass multiple lines crossing Eastern Europe.
The project has angered many of Germany’s allies and raised fears that Russia would cut supplies to some countries in the east.
Moscow has denied the accusations, instead accusing Europe of not adequately restocking on gas after last year’s harsh winter.