“Political mistakes” – This is how Austria became dependent on Russian gas

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Political mistakes over decades have left Austria dependent on Russian natural gas. This is the conclusion of the Energy Agency, which advises politicians on energy issues.

In the mid-1960s, importing natural gas became a private matter. The risk of over-dependence was recognized early on, but consistently denied. According to study author Herbert Lechner, arguments for Russian natural gas have become undisputed dogmas.

“All tasks transferred to OMV”
“A key factor in Austria’s dependence on Russian natural gas was that those in politically responsible positions gave up their active role in energy policy as early as the 1960s and transferred all tasks related to gas imports to companies, mainly OMV, as a private enterprise. Lechner said. “And this has not de facto changed until 2020, which is the end of the analysis’s research period.”

For the report, Lechner researched, among other things, state documents from Russia and Austria and the archives of the state holding company ÖIAG. There were always warnings. In 1971, ÖVP deputy Siegmund Burger said in the National Council that Austria’s energy supply was based on the premise of peace. The European Commission said in 2008 that Russia was using “gas as a political weapon”.

Source: Krone

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