On Wednesday the European Union accused Russia's state-owned Gazprom of hurting competition and charging unfair prices in different countries in central and Eastern Europe. Gazprom dismissed those allegations as unfounded and said it expects a political resolution.
Gazprom provides about 30 percent of Europe's natural gas supplies. Russian deliveries to Europe are expected to decline from 2016 to 2020 as the continent increasingly turns to liquefied natural gas supplies, which are becoming more available.
Europe has been looking to diversify away from Gazprom's stronghold on the market.
"Germany and Europe don't want to put all their eggs in one basket, and we will try get more independent from one supplier—Russia," said Holger Lösch, a member of the executive board of BDI, an association of German corporations. Lösch said the German companies are accepting the German government's position on Russian sanctions. "The law has to be put above profits," he said.
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"The Germans are trying, but there's going to be a lot of pressure as time goes on," Georgetown's Stent said.
Stent said the sanctions were done in a way that they would be staggered. "They were deliberately done in a way that was not a full onslaught," she said.
Russia so far is maintaining its position as the world's largest oil producer, at 10.6 million barrels a day. Saudi Arabia is second, producing about 10 million barrels a day in April. The U.S. is third, producing more than 9 million barrels a day over the past several months.
"Bizarrely, Russia has been helped by the collapse of the rouble. … It means that $50 oil gets you almost as many as $100 did before," said Daniel Yergin, IHS vice chairman. He said what it has meant for some Russian service companies is that they can maintain their budgets.
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