Since he opened hostilities by invading Ukraine on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been playing another war — energy — on European Union (EU) territory. Without ammunition or military deployment, it threatens the economic health of the Old Continent, the unity of the twenty-seven, and could have explosive effects on the sacred internal market at the heart of the social fabric.
“Russia Uses Gas as a Weapon”, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented a plan on Wednesday July 20 to help Europeans prepare for a winter without Russian gas. Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, noted for his role “A Hybrid Threat from Russia”.
Gazprom’s deliveries to Europeans today represent less than 30% of what they were before the war. Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, the Netherlands, and Denmark have already had France, Germany, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia drastically reduce their supplies, leaving them completely absent.
On the morning of Thursday, July 21, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was restarted after a maintenance operation, but only at 30% of its capacity, according to Germany. On July 18, the company implemented it “Force Major” To absolve itself of its responsibility against past and perhaps future massive declines in its supplies to Europe.
Fill the reserves to the maximum
L “worst case scenario”That one “Total cut-off of Russian gas”, “Possible”, Judge Ursula van der Leyen refuses to comply “Blackmail” The Kremlin. « Nord Stream 2 does not receive certificates [nécessaires] and does not function at all”He warned on Wednesday that while Berlin, after a long delay, had finally given up on providing new gas pipeline service, Moscow could imagine forcing Germany to change its mind.
Therefore, Thierry Breton, must be twenty-seven “to prepare” Even one or two “Winter[s] Without Russian gas” – By 2021, it will account for 40% of their imports. To do this, they need to fill their gas reserves to the maximum, and increase them from 64% today (that is, forty-six days in winter) to 80% in 1.There is November. Otherwise, a cut from Gazprom could plunge them into recession, and inflation and unemployment would rise.
In recent weeks, Europeans have traveled around the world — to Berlin and Rome, in particular — to find new suppliers — the United States, Norway, Azerbaijan, Algeria and Qatar. Other purchases are in progress. But Twenty Seven knows that, given the available resources and the infrastructure required (for example, liquefied natural gas requires LNG terminals to regasify it), it will be difficult for them to do much more.
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