Austria Says Russian Gas Still Flowing as It Scrambles for Alternatives

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Russian natural gas deliveries to Austria are continuing unrestricted and there is no indication that will change, its government said on Wednesday while adding it is scrambling to find alternative sources, Reuters reported. Austria obtains 80% of its natural gas from Russia, a heavy dependency that it says will take time to end now that Russia's invasion of Ukraine has made plain the need to shift away from Europe's cheapest source of gas. "Since the start of the war delivery volumes have not changed. In fact, they have increased," Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer told a news conference. He and energy minister Leonore Gewessler added that the government was budgeting up to 5 billion euros ($5.3 billion) to fill the nation's gas reservoirs to 80% of capacity by the autumn from 18% now, on top of 1.6 billion euros already earmarked this year for a strategic gas reserve. Nehammer repeated that when he met Russian President Vladimir Putin two weeks ago Putin assured him that Austria would keep receiving the contractually agreed volumes of gas and that Austria could keep paying in euros deposited at Gazprombank, which then converts them into roubles. Read more.