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Austria exploring how to end Russian gas import contract, energy minister says

by Nate Ostiller February 12, 2024 3:36 PM 1 min read
Austrian Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler at the EU Council headquarter in Brussels on Dec. 4, 2023. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
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Austria is considering taking much stronger steps to end its dependence on Russian gas, including plans to potentially end a multi-decade contract between the partially state-owned Austrian gas company OMV and the Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom.

"We must prepare to exit OMV's long-term contracts" with Russia, which currently expire in 2040, Austrian Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler said at a press conference on Feb. 12.

Despite Austria's pledge to reduce its energy dependence on Russia after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, actual progress has fallen short of its goal.

"The market and the energy companies that are part of it are not fulfilling their responsibility to reduce the dependency on Russian gas sufficiently," Gewessler said.

"The diversification of our gas imports is advancing far too slowly."

While the total amount of gas imported from Russia has decreased, 98% of all gas imports to Austria in December 2023 came from Russia, constituting a record-high share.

Almost 65% of all gas imports for 2023 originated in Russia.

Gewessler said that Austria's parliament was exploring legislation requiring energy companies to reduce the proportion of Russian gas in their total imports.

US official: Washington aims to halve Russia’s energy profits by 2030
The U.S. seeks to cut Russia’s oil and gas revenue by half by the end of the decade, the Financial Times reported on Dec. 1, citing U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Geoffrey Pyatt.
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