Disinfo: Europe catastrophically lacks gas

Summary

Europe catastrophically lacks gas. In addition to gas from the [Nord Stream 2] pipeline, it will be necessary to purchase more and more Russian liquefied gas. The launch of Nord Stream 2 will greatly increase the export of Russian gas to Europe.

Disproof

This case is part of the Kremlin's recurring disinformation campaign about the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Europe is not "catastrophically lacking gas" - on the contrary, there is enough natural gas supply that prices in Europe have been going down this year. This is because the continent has been flooded with liquefied natural gas (LNG) from a number of suppliers since fall 2018, including the United States. A mild winter in Asia has driven gas prices to a three-year-low level and caused LNG shipments to be redirected to Europe, pushing down the prices. As Polygraph explains, energy experts say LNG has allowed natural gas to become a global commodity that can easily move from one continent to another depending on demand, similar to the way oil is traded. Moreover, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will not import any new Russian gas to Europe; it will simply divert Gazprom’s current transit through the Ukrainian route to Nord Stream 2. Indeed, about 40 percent of Gazprom's transmission capacity to Europe is not utilized - Gazprom's currently unused export capacity to the EU is almost 100 bcm, which contradicts the claim that constructing a new 55-bcm pipeline is necessary to increase gas imports to the EU. More background is available here. For more disinformation cases about Nord Stream 2, see here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 169
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/10/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Czech
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: gas, Nord Stream 2, Energy, Europe
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US and Poland continue sowing discord between Belarus and Russia

Latest U.S. and Polish activities, including speeches of American experts at Minsk conference and an information campaign of subordinated Belarusian media, indicate that they aim at provoking strict Russian countermeasures and pushing it to the conflict with Belarus. Under the pretext of taking part in a dialogue, Americans conduct information operations, targeting the Union State of Belarus and Russia. Americans need to bring as much distrust and discord in Russia-Belarus relations as possible and to do their best in inflaming the situation in Belarus on the eve of the 2020 presidential election. NATO military exercises Defender 2020 means that the large assault force is created in Poland and Lithuania, aimed at Belarus and Russia’s western regions.

Disproof

The message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Western aggressiveness towards Belarus and Russia and West's attempts to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the West destroyed the USSR and is currently targeting the Union State between Belarus and Russia, that the Belarusian opposition, civic activists and independent journalists make kill lists for Western security bodies, that Russia saved Belarus from Western bombing like in Yugoslavia, and that the West's only interest in Belarus is to make it anti-Russian.

Zelenskyy missed the chance to use his popularity to crush the nationalists

Zelenskyy missed his chance when he came to the polls with a huge margin, and he had the opportunity to appeal to the people, the opportunity to appeal to the army, put up his people, and crush the nationalists. Without this, there will be no decision in Ukraine.

Disproof

The recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the alleged power of Nationalists in Ukraine and their impact on the state process, and the disintegration of Ukraine with no evidence given. In 2014, the far-right ‘Right Sector’ (often described as "ultra-nationalist" or "Nazis" by pro-Kremlin outlets) gained only 1.8% of the votes, far short of the threshold needed to enter Parliament. This demonstrates the attitude and support for far-right nationalist parties in Ukraine. The current president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who got 73.7% of the vote in the 2019 presidential elections, has repeatedly expressed his intention to end the armed conflict in the East of the country as soon as possible.

Kyiv is attempting to block the Normandy Four Summit

Representatives of the DPR and LPR are convinced, in fact, that Kyiv is blocking the summit of the Normandy Four. The Ukrainian side has already thwarted three attempts to disengage.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Kyiv government sabotaging peace in the Donbas region. See previous cases about the Minsk agreements and the war in Ukraine.

As stated by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Vadim Pristayko, only after 7 days of peace in the territory can the withdrawal of forces and assets in Zolote and Petrivske begin. According to the daily report by the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM OSCE) on the 14th October, fewer ceasefire violations in both Donetsk and Luhansk regions were recorded, but these violations were fixed from both sides. The situation is the same with the withdrawal of forces. The SMM OSCE saw weapons in violation of withdrawal lines on both sides of the contact line.