Spain sees itself as the solution to Russia’s energy problems in Europe.


Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Russia and southern Europe could provide an answer to the problem of gas supply shortfalls as Russia seeks to double sanctions on Russia.

“Spain and Southern Europe will have an opportunity to provide an answer to Russia’s dependence on fossil energy,” Sanchez told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos late Monday.

Sanchez emphasized that Spain accounts for 37% of the total regasification capacity of the European Union, where liquefied natural gas is converted back to the final product of natural gas. He also said the Iberian Peninsula, occupied by Spain and Portugal, is home to about half of the EU’s LNG storage.

“This war also taught us a very important lesson in a highly complex and highly uncertain geopolitical scenario as well as renewable energy, hydrogen and energy efficiency are great alliances of nations and economies in tackling climate change efforts. It will provide a means to increase autonomy.”

Energy prices have soared this year as the Russian attack on Ukraine has destabilized markets and Western countries have imposed sanctions on Moscow. The price of the Dutch TTF hub, the European benchmark for natural gas trading, more than tripled between February 16 and March 7 as Russia embarked on an unprovoked aggression on its neighbors.

Issues of energy security and skyrocketing energy prices have been at the fore and at the center of Spain’s political debate, and Madrid is one of the most vocal capitals on the need for European action to lower prices for consumers.

Spain, along with neighboring Portugal, has introduced temporary caps on natural gas and coal prices. This is what sets it apart from the rest of the EU.

Sanchez said the EU’s energy market is not well-suited to the current crisis. “This is just the beginning of the great reflection we have to face at the European level,” he said.

Spain angered Algeria after Madrid decided earlier this year to re-export gas to Morocco.

Sanchez dismissed the idea on Monday that Spain was replacing Algeria with Russia, another unstable supplier that threatened to cut off gas flow to Madrid due to a deal with Morocco.

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