EU should brace for ‘winter of great suffering’ – Spanish minister — Analysis
As the Spanish defense ministry predicts, Russia will cut EU gas supplies and the fighting in Ukraine would continue.
European countries who support Ukraine in its fight against Russia must prepare for the complete suspension by Moscow of their natural gas supply during the winter ahead, Margarita Robertles, Spanish Defense Minister, has advised.
“We are going to have a winter of great suffering,”On Wednesday, the cabinet member spoke to Radio National and added that: “in Europe, we have to work hard to be ready to deal with it.”
Robles stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin has already cut off gas supplies to Africa, apparently in reference to Gazprom’s reduction in delivery.
Gazprom has attributed the company’s loss of capacity to external factors, noting that Ukraine refuses to allow gas to be transported through any of its routes. Gazprom also cited the delay due to sanctions in returning a German turbine that was damaged during maintenance for Nord Stream 1. Moscow, however, has been accused of decreasing the flow to political purposes by European nations.
The EU, which has pledged to remove Russian fossil fuels from its energy mix within the coming years, in retaliation for Russia’s attack against Ukraine, is facing a severe gas shortage, with alternatives to proving more expensive and less accessible.
Robles went on to claim that Putin “cannot win” in the gas standoff, but acknowledged that parties represented in the Spanish parliament may not support gas rationing, which the EU leadership has recommended for all member states.
“I want to believe that the political forces will rise to the occasion,”She said.
The minister pledged continued Spanish support for Kiev, and asserted that the unity of NATO and the EU were as strong as ever amid the West’s confrontation with Russia.
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