July 19, 2022

The European Union is getting ready for life without Russian gas flows before the fall and winter months when there is a threat of a shortage.

Russia used to provide the EU with about 40 percent of its gas, but has since cut the flow by 60 percent, the Financial Times reported. The paper said it viewed a draft paper from the European Commission that hopes to reduce the threat of gas shortages. 

The body may compensate companies that reduce their gas use. The plan also asks countries to move to renewables like nuclear power.

The European Commission blamed Russia for deliberately using “energy as a political weapon” in the face of tough Western sanctions and there is fear that the EU could run out of fossil fuel if it is a particularly cold winter.

The Trends Journal has reported on how the West’s sanctions have, at this point, backfired because Moscow has been able to find willing buyers in India and China. Russia has already cut off some countries from its gas flows. (See “RUSSIA ENDS GAS EXPORTS TO POLAND, BULGARIA. GERMANY AND ITALY ARE NEXT,” “BANNING RUSSIAN GAS IN EUROPE COULD LEAD TO INDUSTRIAL RATIONING,” “U.S. LNG SHIPMENTS TO EUROPE TIGHTEN DOMESTIC GAS SUPPLIES” and “EUROPEANS SUFFER: MORE SANCTIONS, LESS GAS.”)

Russia cut gas flows to Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Italy by 60 percent and the commission said in the draft paper that there is “no reason to believe this pattern will change.”

“Rather, a number of signals, including the latest decision to reduce further supply to Italy, point to a likely deterioration of gas supply outlook,” the document read, according to EURACTIV.

The report said the EU is at the “early warning stage” on its energy supply, but will move to the alert stage on 20 July, when the draft paper is expected to be published.