PM warns Russian gas boost will have 'security implications' as Putin checkmates EU

The Russian President has been accused of “choking off” the supply of gas to Europe to increase energy prices. Ministers claim the Kremlin has done so to checkmate the EU into approving the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The controversial deal was struck between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mr Putin to transport gas from Russia into Germany through the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine and Poland.

But it still awaits approval from German regulators and faces tough EU laws being implemented.

The Prime Minister warned last night that approval of Nord Stream 2 would have “significant security implications”.

A No 10 spokesman said: “Although Nord Stream 2 will not directly impact the UK’s energy security, it could have serious implications for central and eastern European countries.

“Some European countries are nearly wholly dependent on Russian gas, which raises serious concerns about energy security.”

The shortage of gas in Europe has already pushed up international prices, leading to a significant rise in household energy bills in the UK and pushing a string of suppliers into administration.

On Wednesday, European gas prices surge 40 percent in a few minutes.

Mr Putin eased fears by offering to help stabilise the situation, but with strings attached.

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said the ” completion of certification” of Nord Stream 2 would help cool off prices.

Latest estimates say “around 40 percent” of the EU’s natural gas imports come from Russia.

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They added: “Nord Stream 2 would divert supplies away from Ukraine, with significant consequences for its economy.

“It could also have significant security implications.”

The International Energy Agency has said that Moscow has the capacity to increase its gas exports by 15 per cent this winter.

It warned that failing to do so would cast doubt on whether the state was a “reliable supplier of energy”.

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