EU Vice President: More than 10 countries hit by gas cuts

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“The risk of a complete shutdown (of gas supply) is now more real than ever,” said Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the European Commission and head of the EU climate policy.

More than 10 EU countries have now been hit by cuts in gas supplies from Russia, he said today European Commission Vice-President and Head of EU Climate Policy Frans Timmermansas the European bloc faces an ever-deepening confrontation with Moscow over energy issues.

Russia cut off gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 40% of capacity last week, citing equipment problems, and has already cut off gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland for refusing to comply with its new payment plan.

Timmermans noted that 10 of the 27 EU Member States have issued an “early warning” for gas supplies – the first and least serious of the three crisis levels set out in EU energy security regulations.

“The risk of a complete interruption (supply) of gas is now more real than ever”, noted and reiterated the statement of Brussels that Russia uses energy supply as a weapon. Russia denies the cuts were premeditated.

The EU relied on Russia for 40% of the gas it used before Moscow invaded Ukraine. With Russian gas supplies declining and gas prices soaring, some countries have stepped up their use of coal-fired power plants, insisting that this is temporary and will not thwart climate change targets.

Germany will enter the second stage of the gas emergency today, sources told Reuters. Europe’s largest economy launched the first phase of the contingency plan in March.

EU countries should have plans in place to manage all three levels of a gas supply crisis – early warning, alert and emergency.

The “early warning” stage focuses on the monitoring of supplies, while that of the “alarm” theoretically enables utilities to pass on high prices to consumers and help reduce demand. The “emergency” level allows governments to force industry to cut back on gas-saving activities.

Cuts in gas supplies from Russia have raised concerns that Europe will find it difficult to replenish its gas reserves – which are now at 55% – to a level sufficient to deal with any further energy shocks during the winter. peak period for heating. The EU reached an agreement last month on an emergency law that requires member states to fill up to 80% of their gas reserves by 1 November this year.

Source: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

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