The US and other “friendly” gas-supplier states have been profiting from the worsening energy crisis in the EU, Germany’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Wednesday.
“Some countries, including friendly ones, sometimes achieve astronomical prices [for their gas]. Of course, that brings with it problems that we have to talk about,” Habeck said, in an interview with the regional paper NOZ translated by NBC News. He called for more solidarity from Washington when it comes to assisting its energy-pressed allies in Europe.
“The United States contacted us when oil prices shot up, and the national oil reserves in Europe were tapped as a result. I think such solidarity would also be good for curbing gas prices,” Habeck suggested.
According to the minister, the EU “should pool its market power and orchestrate smart and synchronized purchasing behaviour … so that individual EU countries do not outbid each other and drive up world market prices.”
The bloc is facing a tough winter, with gas shortages predicted due to drastically reduced Russian supplies amid Western sanctions and the recent sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines.
The US likely stands to gain the most from the destruction of the two undersea pipelines, which were damaged by a series of explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm last week. Washington has for years been trying to convince European leaders to swap Russian gas for its liquefied natural gas, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling the sabotage of the Russian pipelines a “tremendous opportunity.”