The bloc is expected to advise residents to ration if Russia switches off the tap
Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the European Union was preparing a list of emergency actions to reduce the effects of any Russian gas cutoff. Stockpiling and directing supplies to key industries are some of the options being studied.
Bloomberg has seen a draft document that outlines the steps. Bloomberg calls for “early joint action at EU level” to address the bloc’s fears that Russia may abruptly cut off the gas supply to the continent.
“Acting now could reduce the impact of a sudden supply disruption by one third,”Bloomberg reported that Bloomberg had noted in the document that the European Commission was still subject to changes before the policy is adopted next week.
The document states that gas flows to Russia now account for less than 30% of 2016-2021’s average. The EU wishes to ensure that Russia does not pull the plug. “reduce the impact of a sudden supply disruption by a third.”
EU will recommend to countries that they prioritize key supply chains in case of cutoffs, and encourage reduced use through incentives “market-based measures,” such as auctions or tender systems – which would drive up prices.
Domestic consumers will be hit with information campaigns urging them to reduce their home heating – as has already happened in several countries – and would have mandatory limits placed on their gas usage “during an alert level of crisis,” in Bloomberg’s words.
After the EU placed sanctions on Russia, several of the bloc’s members have seen their gas supplies affected for varying reasons. Bulgaria, Poland and Finland refused to comply with Russia’s ruble-based payments system in April, and as a result had their supply cut off by Gazprom. Germany’s gas supply was temporarily cut by Gazprom earlier this month, as Russian sanctions blocked the Russian energy giant from receiving its repaired turbine from Canada. Berlin then negotiated a waiver.
Germany, whose position as Europe’s industrial powerhouse depends on Russian gas, also voluntarily threw its supply into jeopardy when it abandoned the Nord Stream 2 pipeline within days of Russia launching its military operation in Ukraine in February. Germany’s gas woes are set to continue, with Gazprom having shut down Nord Stream 1 on Monday for ten days of annual maintenance.
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