Decreased Russian gas deliveries to impact CEE economies but spare Romania, Fitch says
The repeated reductions in the supply of Russian natural gas have had governments in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) vying for alternative energy sources, but Romania is less affected due to its domestic production, according to credit analysis provider Fitch Ratings.
"Natural gas prices in Europe have skyrocketed (almost 15 times in the last 12 months), a trend that has no comparison in recent decades. This represents a major negative shock to the region in terms of trade, with only Romania being less affected as it is a large domestic gas producer," the financial rating agency said in a new rating outlook report on CEE countries cited by Profit.ro.
A full stop in Russian natural gas deliveries would weaken the public finances of CEE countries. Some of the most vulnerable are the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia.
The energy crisis has already negatively impacted the ratings of countries in the region.
The main challenge for the region, despite recent agreements with the US, Norway, and Qatar for LNG deliveries, remains that of ensuring stable and less expensive supplies in the medium term, the Fitch report says.
Despite its domestic gas production and subsequently lowered vulnerability, Fitch has Romania in the last category among countries recommended for investors, at 'BBB-', a rating confirmed at the beginning of April. The outlook associated with the rating is negative.
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