Europe ready if Russia totally halts gas supplies, says EU official

4 September, 12:09 PM
Flag of the European Union (Photo:REUTERS/Yves Herman)

Flag of the European Union (Photo:REUTERS/Yves Herman)

The European Union is, “well prepared” should Russia turn off gas supplies thanks to significant storage capacity and proactive energy-saving measures, India’s NDTV news agency quoted EU Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni as saying on Sept. 3.

“We are well prepared to resist Russia’s extreme use of the gas weapon,” Gentiloni told journalists on the sidelines of the Ambrosetti Forum organized by The European House.

“We are not afraid of Putin’s decisions, we are asking the Russians to respect contracts, but if they don’t, we are ready to react,” he said.

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According to Gentiloni, in the European Union “gas storage is currently at about 80%, thanks to the diversification of supplies,” although the situation varies from one country to another.

Russian state gas company Gazprom announced on Sept. 2 that it stopped the gas flow through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany, citing a leak at the main gas turbine at the Portovaya compressor station near St. Petersburg.

The announcement didn’t provide a time frame for when the supply line could be restarted.

At the same time, gas prices in Europe are at risk of rising to their highest levels amid uncertainty about a resumption of supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

If the EU’s gas reserves run low, the pricing situation has the potential to become significantly worse.

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