EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson says the EU is working to stockpile as much gas as possible and could replace most of Russia’s supplies this year, but should do more if there is a “complete supply cut”.
Plans drawn up by the European Commission would include measures to streamline the supply of gas to industry, according to people familiar with the proposals, while sparing households.
Russian state gas supplier Gazprom has already cut off gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria and Finland for refusing to comply with a Kremlin decree to pay its bills in rubles instead of euros or dollars.
“We are facing a situation where any Member State could be next (which could be stopped from delivering Russian gas),” Simson said in an interview. “This year, if there is a complete disruption, we are preparing contingency plans,” she said.
EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said it would be “feasible” for the bloc to replace two-thirds of Russia’s gas this year.
Industry accounts for 27% of EU gas consumption, with the largest consumers of chemicals, ceramics, food and glass. The commission said it would protect key supply chains for food, safety and health and safety.
Simson insisted it would be “feasible” to replace two-thirds of Russian gas this year, as the commission had previously promised to do, expressing optimism about efforts to secure alternative supplies.
Simson said EU countries are rapidly increasing their capacity to handle LNG, which arrives in a tank and is then turned back into gas and sent through pipelines.
Energy companies in several major gas-consuming states, such as Italy and Germany, have said they will comply with the Russian decree, which has been amended so that Russia’s sanctioned central bank is not directly involved in converting payments made into euros or dollars into dollars. ruble.
Simson warned that every contract is different and that Member States must ensure that sanctions are applied.
The Commission last week unveiled a € 210 billion plan to move Europe away from Russian energy by 2027, including targets for reducing energy consumption and investment in renewables.
The elimination of Russian gas is a difficult task for the EU, which before the war with Ukraine received 40% of Russia’s gas supply. It has now dropped to about 26 percent, the commission said.
Simson said Europe aims to reduce it to 13% by the end of the year.
Until then, Member States will open or expand fixed or floating LNG terminals to manage 19 billion cubic meters annually. Russia supplied 155 billion cubic meters of gas last year.
The Estonian commissioner said Brussels expects more gas from the US and Norway and is talking to new suppliers.
“We are working with Egypt and Israel, and we hope to have bilateral agreements with them before the summer. We plan to renew our energy dialogue with Algeria, “she said.
Hungary is blocking a proposed embargo on Russian oil, which last year accounted for 25% of EU consumption. But Simson said there were signs of a boycott of the private sector, which reduced loads in Russia.
“All these steps are necessary and already offer what we hoped for,” she said.
She acknowledged that Central European countries without access to the sea, such as Hungary, which relies on Russian crude oil, face “greater challenges” and insisted that the EU must maintain its unity in terms of sanctions.
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