Live Updates: U.S. Warns Russia Against Exploiting Gas Crisis As Prices in Europe Soar

Live Updates

The U.S. has sent a warning to Russia against exploiting the current gas crisis in Europe for political gain after the Kremlin suggested it has the ability to boost much-needed supplies.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said existing natural gas trade routes allow the country to bolster supplies before the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will carry Russian gas to Germany begins operating. Such a move would likely slow or halt surging gas prices on the continent as the energy industry spirals into crisis.

But in the latest row between the U.S. and Russia, national security adviser Jake Sullivan has warned that any attempt by the Kremlin to exploit the situation would backfire as American diplomats continue a pushback against increasing Russian interference on the global stage.

Follow Newsweek's liveblog for all the latest updates...

British energy regulator warns price cap lift could hit consumers hard

Ofgem is warning of "significant" price rises for customers in the U.K. next year because of the gas shortage.

Ofgem suggests it is reviewing energy price cap after ‘extraordinary’ rise in cost of gas

It could increase more frequently to limit the number of energy companies going into administration

— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) October 8, 2021

China tackles its own looming energy crisis

Officials in China have ordered dozens of mines in Inner Mongolia to boost coal production as the country battles with its worst coal shortages in years, Reuters reports.

The country faces record-high prices and shortages of electricity that have prompted power rationing across the country, crippling industrial output. In an urgent notice, the Inner Mongolia regional energy department asked the cities of Wuhai, Ordos, and Hulunbuir to notify 72 mines to operate at increased capacity going into winter.

Europe and Asia could be entirely dependent on Russia for gas - WoodMac

Business and energy consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie warned in a note earlier today that Europe may face gas shortages throughout winter if freezing weather depletes storage levels to zero, leaving the region entirely dependent on additional flows from Russia.

Massimo Di-Odoardo, VP for gas and LNG research at the company, said that if Europe and Asia experience cold winters there will not be enough gas to meet demand unless extra volumes flow from Russia - something Russia knows and the U.S. is wary about.

Rising gasoline prices spells midterm trouble for Democrats

The rising cost of fuel could prove a crucial issue in next year's midterm elections as Democrats hope to maintain control of the House of Representatives and make gains in the Senate.

While Europe has had its own problems with natural gas reserves and prices, the price of gasoline in the U.S. has reached around $3.20 a gallon. Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and their partners, known as OPEC+, this week chose not to substantially increase oil supply. The decision could further increase prices.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told The Financial Times energy transition summit on Wednesday that President Biden's administration hadn't ruled out tapping the nation's emergency oil reserves, known as the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

FULL STORY: Fuel Price Surge Poses Major Midterms Risk for Joe Biden and Democrats

Europe gas prices begin rising once again

After a short reprieve from spiraling costs, gas prices are increasing once again today.

After a sharp drop following Russia's intervention yesterday, European gas prices are now around a third off peaks hit earlier this week - but are still are up a staggering 300 percent this year.

British gas for Q1 2022 delivery - based on prices in recent weeks - has soared from 17.9 pence to £2.70 per therm.

The Dutch gas price for December also jumped €4.14 to €103.85 per megawatt-hour.

Russia accounted for most state-sponsored hacking in past year - Microsoft

The country accounts for 58 percent of attacks, mostly targeting government agencies and think tanks in the United States, followed by Ukraine, Britain, and European NATO members, the company said.

The devastating effectiveness of the long-undetected SolarWinds attack, which mainly breached tech businesses including Microsoft, helped Russian state-backed hackers' success rate increase to 32 percent in the year ending June 30, compared with 21 percent in the preceding 12 months.

China, meanwhile, accounted for fewer than 1 in 10 of the state-backed hacking attempts Microsoft detected but was successful almost half of the time in breaking into targeted networks.

Uncertainty over Biden and Putin meeting at G20

There are currently no plans for the U.S. and Russian leaders to meet to discuss deteriorating relations at the G20 Summit at the end of this month.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this week she does not "have any predictions for you on the bilateral meetings". She also pointed toward "remaining concerns" following the previous talks between the two presidents.

We have remaining concerns, but it was an opportunity to express them at a high level, see what work can be done over the course of the long term to address it.

Russian newspaper editor awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Dmitry Muratov was one of the founders of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta in 1993.

"Novaya Gazeta is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power," the Nobel committee said.

The newspaper's fact-based journalism and professional integrity have made it an important source of information on censurable aspects of Russian society rarely mentioned by other media.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov congratulated Muratov on winning the prize, hailing him as a "talented and brave" person.

We can congratulate Dmitry Muratov — he has consistently worked in accordance with his ideals, he has adhered to his ideals, he's talented and brave. It's a high appraisal and we congratulate him.

NATO warns against 'malign activities' by Moscow

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed the withdrawal of accreditation for eight Russian officials who will now be denied access to the alliance's Brussels headquarters from the end of the month.

The group believes the officials have been secretly working as intelligence officers. NATO also halved the number of positions that Russia can accredit people for from 20 to 10.

This decision is not linked to any particular event, but we have seen over some time now an increase in Russian malign activity, and therefore we need to be vigilant. The relationship between NATO and Russia is at its lowest point since the end of the Cold War. That's because of the Russian behavior. We have seen their aggressive actions, not least against Ukraine, but also the significant military buildup and violations of important arms control agreements.

Russia rebuffs Ukraine and EU claim on restricting supplies

Vladimir Putin has hit back at claims from leaders in Ukraine and the European Union, who claim that Moscow was trying to cut supplies delivered through Ukrainian territory in anticipation of the Nord Stream 2 coming into service with Germany.

He insists that Russia has pumped 8% more gas via Ukraine than envisaged by the existing transit contract and that Gazprom has delivered all the required gas under long-term agreements but has not sold additional gas on the spot market and instead used it for domestic needs.

What is Russia offering Europe?

President Vladimir Putin said yesterday a spot-buyer solution to gas supplies - deals to meet immediate demand - in addition to existing long-term contracts could help the 27-member European Union.

He also took the opportunity to lambast the way European countries have operated their energy businesses, citing the "inadmissibility of hasty and politically motivated moves" in the energy market.

I would like to underline that the situation in the European energy markets is a bright example of the inadmissibility of hasty and politically motivated moves in any sphere, particularly in energy issues that determine the stability of industries and welfare and life quality of millions of people.

Russia's offer of gas supply halts price surge

Gas supplies to Europe in the first nine months of the year rose 15 percent compared to the same period in 2020 - and the offer of more from Russia has calmed the markets, with prices temporarily dropping from record highs.

But while pressure on the market may have temporarily eased, significant pressure remains over whether to accept the Russian offer, with the U.S. urging allies to be cautious.

It has prompted fears that Russia could leverage political favors and gain a foothold in Europe due to its ability to supply the critical resource.

Good morning and welcome to Newsweek's liveblog

Europe faces difficult decisions in the coming hours and days as gas prices continue to spiral out of control but offers of help from Russia ease pressure.

Follow Newsweek's liveblog throughout Friday for all the latest.