Russia returns as the main gas supplier for Europe: overtaking the USA

As widely expected, Western sanctions have not weakened the Russian economyespecially regarding energy export. And towards European states, too. Since the large-scale invasion of Ukraine, Moscow returns the first gas supplier for Europe surpassing the United States for the first time in two years.

A unexpected result for most, but feared by projections and analysts in recent months. Despite efforts to diversify supplies, the Old Continent is therefore still highly dependent on Russian energy.

Europe imports more gas from Russia

While in Italy the prices of energy goods have fallenin May 2024 the export of gas and LNG from Russia represented 15% of the total supply towards the EU, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and North Macedonia. According to data published by Financial Times, the countries most linked to Moscow's supplies are precisely the former Soviet ones in Eastern Europe, and that is the most determined to counter the Russian threat within NATO. As it emerged, moreover, even in January. Analyzing the Icis reports (Independent Commodity Intelligence Service), the reversal of direction signaled by our continent is not destined to last long, but it is undoubtedly significant for understanding the real European possibilities of disengaging from the Kremlin beyond Westernist proclamations and propaganda.

Gas arrives from Russia to Europe through natural gas pipelines cross the territories of Türkiye and Ukraine. Yes, Ukraine: because war doesn't stop business and, until proven otherwise, it has been established that Moscow continued to pay Kiev (in euros and dollars, not in rubles) even after the invasion of February 2022 for the transit of energy on Ukrainian territory. In any case, the transit agreement still in force between Ukraine and Russia will expire at the end of 2024, and most likely will not be renewed. There EU Commissionfor its part, has ban on Russian gas sanctioned in transit from the invaded country by the end of 2024, also for Italy.

Russia overtakes the US, but will it last long?

The liquefied gas coming from the United States to the EU states has instead stopped at 14%, one percentage point below the Russian share and at the lowest level ever recorded since August 2022. According to Icis analysts, the situation should however only be contingent. May flows were in fact influenced by several occasional factors, including adisruption at a major export facility of LNG in the United States.

At the same time, Russia has instead exported greater quantities of gas through Turkey in view of the pipeline maintenance scheduled for June. Just a few days ago it was Reuters that calculated a Gazprom's supplies jumped by 39% in May, compared to the same month in 2023 and by more than 7% compared to April 2024. However, by the end of 2024, the Federation will also be able to send liquefied gas to Asia via the Northern Sea Route. At that point, in all likelihood, Moscow will reduce supplies to Europe.

Russia's flexibility in diverting its exports is limited and it will be very difficult for it to maintain the same level of supplies to the West even during the next winterthat is, when the demand for energy will increase significantly. On the contrary, overall LNG production in the USA is growing and will guarantee new flows on the global market by December. In the end a consideration on sanctions: If they knew they wouldn't hit the Russian economy, why did the US launch them? Certainly not to hit the economy of Russia which, as an empire, acts in the world in an anti-economic manner and he does not know our well-being. The American move wanted compact the internal front European uniting it towards the common enemy.