Russia throttles Nord Stream gas supplies further, EU agrees to emergency plan
With Russia further throttling gas supplies to Europe, the EU has apparently agreed upon an emergency plan to reduce consumption, the details of which are to be released today.
Russia announces further cut to gas supplies
Just five days after gas started flowing through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline following a 10-day shutdown for maintenance, the Russian energy company Gazprom announced that from Wednesday it would again reduce the volume of gas supplied by the pipeline, from 40 percent down to 20 percent of maximum capacity.
The official reason given for the downturn was the repair of another turbine - an excuse that has previously been rejected by the German government. On Monday, Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of playing a “perfidious game”, attempting to weaken support for Ukraine and drive a wedge between Germans, by stirring up uncertainty and driving up energy prices.
EU representatives agree to gas supply emergency plan
In the hours following the announcement, representatives of EU countries apparently agreed on an emergency plan to reduce gas consumption in the bloc. According to dpa, it should be officially confirmed today at a summit in Brussels.
The plan as proposed by the EU Commission called for member states to voluntarily reduce their national consumption of natural gas by 15 percent between August 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023. The plan would also include an EU-wide “alarm” that could be triggered in the event of mass shortages and would set binding savings targets for all countries.
Compared to a previous draft, however, the new plan contains significantly more exceptions, while the number of hurdles in the way of the introduction of binding savings targets has been increased.