In a recent revelation, Jozef Sekela, the Czech Minister of Industry, confirmed that some traders have resumed importing Russian gas into the Czech Republic. This development, the volume of which remains uncertain, came into light through a dispute on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), questioning the extent of the Czech Republic's current dependence on Russian gas supplies.
From Independence to Dependence
At the beginning of the year, the Ministry of Industry proclaimed that the country had entirely eliminated its dependence on Russian gas. The move was seen as a crucial step in not financially bolstering Russia's aggression in Ukraine. However, a recent revelation by Lukas Kovanda, the chief economist of Trinity Bank, paints a different picture.
Kovanda unveiled a graph from Bloomberg, an economic agency, indicating a resumption of gas imports from Russia at the Czech-Slovak border's Lanžhot transfer station since early October. Kovanda's analysis suggests that up to 40% of the gas the Czech Republic is currently importing comes from Russia.
Responding to Kovanda's claims, Minister Sekela acknowledged the resumption of Russian gas imports by some traders since October. However, he was quick to emphasize that these imports only account for 1.2% of total deliveries since the beginning of the year. This stark contrast in data raises questions about the actual volume of Russian gas entering the Czech Republic.
Unearthing the Truth
Gas Connect, the Austrian company responsible for transporting gas, released data that supports Kovanda's claims rather than the Minister's. Their data shows that the current imports from Russia are significant and have been since October, painting a picture of noticeable dependence on Russian gas. This situation prompts a deeper look into the nation's energy policy and its implications on a broader geopolitical scale.