“The EU should prepare for a complete stop of Russian gas supplies,” says the European Commissioner, Kadri Simson. Gazprom’s latest actions and statements indicate that the EU should prepare for a complete cut-off of supplies to Europe at any moment. She said that the EU needs to react to this threat by reducing gas consumption and accelerating injection into underground storage before the winter period.
“We will discuss today the readiness of the EU for this winter. Yesterday’s statement from Gazprom emphasized once again that we must be ready for a possible instantaneous interruption of gas supply at any moment. To prepare for this, we must act now and overcome this crisis together,” reported the European Commissioner.
“For this, we need to reduce demand in advance. This will allow us to continue filling our underground gas storage facilities, which are currently 66% full. This will also allow us to reduce the gap between gas supply and demand in the future,” Kadri Simson added.
According to Kadri, in this crisis, EU member states have different circumstances and “starting positions.” Therefore, the priority is for ministers to meet. In addition, the European Commissioner expressed her belief that European government leaders would eventually be able to achieve a political agreement on this issue.
“Proposals to overcome the crisis should be based on the unity and solidarity of the European Union. Any amount of gas saved now could help other member countries, which would face very difficult challenges in the event of supply disruptions,” said the European Commissioner.
“Indeed, member countries use different volumes of gas, and their interconnection is not yet perfect, especially for countries isolated on land. The Czech EU presidency has discussed with colleagues a plan on how we can support such countries already this winter,” emphasized the European Commissioner.
She added that the European Commission is not surprised by the cut-off of Nord Stream 1 gas supplies. The European Commission sees this action, by Russia, as entirely politically motivated and not caused by any technical issues. Russia’s actions only emphasize the need for EU countries to reduce gas consumption, which is the “way to salvation” she says.
“Another discussion will take place today. We will meet with the Minister of Energy of Ukraine, Herman Halushchenko. This is another reminder that any steps we take have an impact not only on the European market but are also important for Ukraine,” added the European Commissioner for Energy.
Responding to questions about the possibility of implementing an energy emergency regime, Kadri Simson explained that there is a clear legal procedure that allows member states to apply to the European Commission with such proposals.
Over the past few weeks, the EU has created gas reserves, which far exceed the volume of gas typically consumed in the summer period and all the EU countries are continuing to fill underground gas storage.
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