Austria Plans to Withdraw from Russian Gas Contracts

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: February 12, 2024; 16:58 ♦ (Vindobona)

In a decisive step against continued energy dependence, Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) announced that she would end the gas supply contracts between OMV and the Russian company Gazprom. The contracts, which run until 2040 and oblige Austria to purchase significant quantities, are under critical review. Gewessler commissioned the Economic Research Institute (WIFO) to carry out a detailed analysis of the economic consequences of termination and the risks of continued dependency.

"Our security and future must not depend on Russian natural gas," Gewessler stressed. / Picture: © BMK / Cajetan Perwein

Despite previous efforts, such as supporting European gas purchasing platforms and introducing a gas diversification law, the share of Russian gas in Austria remains worryingly high. In December 2023, the share even reached 98 percent – a record high since the beginning of the Ukrainian war. Gewessler criticizes the "clear market failure" and calls for legal intervention.