European gas prices soar as Putin vows to use ‘all available means’ in fight over Ukraine


European natural gas prices rose amid accusations of “nuclear blackmail” by the West and the retreat of Russian forces in northeast Ukraine, as President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday a “partial mobilization” of the military, while Russia It soared because it reinforced the rhetoric of war.

The benchmark Dutch TTF Gas futures traded at €206.935, up more than 6.5% since opening at €203 per megawatt hour (MWh) as of 07:09 EDT. Countries in the region are scrambling to secure supplies as the winter season looms. Gas shortages and exorbitant energy prices have hit local businesses and dried up household income.

As Russia has pledged to advance its war with Ukraine (now in its seventh month), the conflict has revealed the fragility of Europe’s energy infrastructure and the continent’s overdependence on Russian gas.

“If our territorial integrity is threatened, we will take all available measures to protect our people. There are many,” he added. The current mobilization calls for his 300,000 reservists, including civilians with military experience. Russia has experienced many conflicts, but this is the first mobilization since World War II.

“Nuclear blackmail was also carried out,” Putin said of Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

He accused NATO countries of suggesting “the possibility and acceptability of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia, namely nuclear weapons.” In addition, Putin spoke about “liberating” the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, saying he had ordered an increase in funding to boost Russia’s weapons production.

Countries condemn Russian aggression

The current mobilization shows that the war is not progressing as Russia wants, said Mikhail Podoljak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president. “It’s an absolutely predictable appeal that looks like an attempt to justify their own failure,” he told Reuters.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said it was in everyone’s best interest to “help Ukraine” and that the mobilization was “further proof that Russia is the sole aggressor”.

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the mobilization suggested the Russian aggression was “failing” and US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink said Russia made its weaknesses clear through the announcement. said he did.

China’s foreign ministry urged Russia and Ukraine to hold dialogue and address security concerns.

market reaction

A prolonged war would increase the threat of gas supply instability, especially along the remaining major routes through Ukraine.

Ole Hansen, Head of Product Strategy at Saxo Bank A/S, said: bloombergThey “raise concerns about the remaining flow of Russian gas to Europe”.

Brent crude is up 2.30% as of 8am EDT after opening at $90.92.

As the winter season approached, Germany nationalized Uniper SE to avoid a collapse of the energy sector after a multi-billion euro bailout failed to keep gas importers alive. Robert Habeck, Germany “The state … will do everything possible to ensure that companies remain stable in the market at all times,” he said.

Meanwhile, countries are taking extraordinary steps to ensure a stable supply of fuel. If Russian supplies drop further, policy makers may turn to stockpiles.

Imports of liquefied natural gas have helped keep prices down, but a long winter could deplete supplies. It will be work.

Naveen Aslapury

follow

Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events for The Epoch Times.