European country warns of ‘general energy collapse’ — Analysis

Gas shortage might put Europe in a position when “even with money, you will not be able to get electricity,” Montenegro PM said

Incidents in Russian gas supplies or mass switching to electricity will cause disruptions. “a general energy collapse” in Europe, Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović claimed on Monday.

Abrazovic spoke to Parliament and recalled recent comments by Robert Habeck, the German Vice-Chancellor. He advised his fellow citizens to shower less often during winter, while preparing warm clothing.

In Abrazovic’s opinion, if someone from his government came up with such advice, he would be ridiculed. He said that the Montenegrin ministers now focus on preventing such a crisis, but it does not mean everything depends on them. 

“If it comes true that in the fall, or with the onset of cold days, gas is not delivered from Russia to Western Europe at a level that satisfies its economy, and if it switches to electricity, there will be a general energy collapse,”He was very clear.

He explained that there was an even greater danger than increasing energy prices: In his opinion, there might be a situation in which “even with money, you will not be able to get electricity.”

Abrazovic said that ministers are now focusing on not only avoiding the worst, but also preparing for them. Rebalancing budgets was one method he suggested. Montenegro is not dependent upon natural gas like other European countries. However, the prime minister stressed that it had to be prepared. “look at how to get the most out of the tourism industry.”

“However, both Covid and the crisis caused by the war in Ukraine should teach us the following: We have to increase food production and to become a country that is not energy dependent,”He said.

Abrazovic says that in order to be more self-sufficient, one should focus on the construction of new energy facilities.

Prime Minister expressed confidence that his government is addressing these issues properly and there wasn’t any reason for panic.

European gas prices soaring

According to Financial Times, Fatih Birol, chief of International Energy Agency (IEA), warned that the EU should be ready for the possibility to shut down Russian gas exports completely this winter. He also asked for more measures to prepare for such a scenario.

Germany, Austria and Italy announced plans to increase coal use for power generation. Sweden and Denmark also stated that they will take emergency steps to reduce natural gas use. 

There is already a shortage of import energy in Europe’s gas market. Shipments by Russia’s Gazprom through the Nord Stream pipeline have fallen significantly this month because of parts shortages due to sanctions.

According to data, the reduced delivery comes at a moment when Europe is trying to stockpile for winter. Gas storages in Europe currently stand at 55%.

The EU plans to phase out Russian gas by 2030 as part of its response to Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, which was launched in late February. Germany and several other countries have warned that their economies will be affected if this flow is stopped immediately.


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