How Much Has Europe Overpaid for Gas After Rejecting Russian Deliveries?
A recent Sputnik review of Eurostat data discovered that European Union countries had to pay some €185 billion extra on natural gas over the past 20 months after cutting themselves off from cheap, dependable Russian pipeline gas. Check out Sputnik’s infographic for details on the losses, and on who benefited from the EU’s shortsightedness.
European Union countries' expenditures on pipeline and liquefied natural gas jumped nearly three-fold since February 2022 and the levying of restrictions on the purchase of supplies from Russia, with the bloc forced to spend some €304 billion on imports over a 20 month period from early 2022 to late 2023. For comparison, the bloc spent just €292 billion total on natural gas over the eight-year period between 2013 and 2021. That means EU countries are currently spending over four times what they once did just two short years ago.
Higher energy prices mean higher prices for just about everything, from industrial production costs to inputs like fertilizers for agriculture, to utilities rates, and virtually everything you can think of from the supermarket and big box retail stores.
President Putin warned in May of 2022 that the EU's "suicidal," "absolutely political" decision to halt the purchase of Russian energy supplies would come back to bite the bloc. "Rejection of Russian energy resources means that Europe will systematically become the region with the highest energy costs in the world...This will seriously - and according to some experts irrevocably - undermine the competitiveness of a significant part of European industry, which is already losing the competition to companies in other regions of the world," Putin said at the time.
He was proven right, with EU producers fleeing the bloc by the hundreds for areas where energy costs are cheaper and tax breaks more plentiful (especially the United States). Meanwhile, energy-exporting countries including the US, Britain and Norway have taken advantage of Brussels' shortsightedness, making up for the lost Russian gas supplies with their own deliveries - at a tidy profit, naturally.