Austria is unable to stop buying Russian natural gas this year, the head of energy giant OMV, Alfred Stern, said in response to calls for European states to place an embargo on Russian supplies.
“Embargo on Russian gas is impossible if we are not ready to accept the dire consequences. Some countries could do it, but for Austria it is not possible this year… The phase-out of Russian gas comes at a price,” he stated in an interview with Die Presse.
Stern explained that unlike some EU countries, Austria “is in a difficult position” when it comes to alternative energy sources, having “no access to the sea, no access to liquefied petroleum gas.”
Stern is not alone in his views regarding Austria’s dependence on Russian energy. Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said earlier this week that he does not support any restrictions on the supply of oil and gas from Russia to Europe.
“From us there should be a clear rejection of any ideas about stopping the import of Russian gas or Russian oil,” Nehammer said in an interview with OE24 TV.
Currently, gas storage facilities in Austria are only 13% full, media reports, citing industry sources.
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