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Wires and social media carrying comments from Russia President Vladimir Putin stating that he has instructed Gazprom to begin filling gas storage sites in Germany and Austria from 8 November, once Russia storage sites are filled.
- Comes as Gazprom chief says that its Russian sites are nearly full ready for winter.
- Earlier, the FT published a story claiming that the Russian gov't is behind the gas shortage facing Europe this winter. Kremlin had claimed that the European shortage was due to European firms and gov'ts not pumping enough gas into underground storage. However, FT claims the vast majority of empty storage facilities are run by Gazprom, with sites under different control at normal levels of storage for the autumn.
- The political gamesmanship over gas supplies in Europe is set to run and run. A number of outlets have claimed Moldova has been offered more favourable gas terms if its liberal pro-EU gov't turns away from seeking closer relations with Brussels.
- The topic of high energy prices remains a major concern at the member state and institutional level in the EU. However, at present there remains little concrete action on how to deal with a potential shortage of gas and even greater price spike over the winter months.
- Germany has recommended to the EU the approval of the Nord Stream II gas pipeline in an effort to increase supplies, but many Russia hawks remain reluctant to approve the plan given risks posed to Ukraine and its crucial gas transit fees.