EU tells member countries to conserve gas

Brussels says reducing energy use is necessary due to possible Russian supply cuts
EU tells member countries to conserve gas

The EU has called on members of the bloc to voluntarily cut their natural gas use by 15% starting next month, amid concerns that Russia may not restart deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

The measure is part of the ‘Save Gas for a Safe Winter’ plan presented in Brussels and aimed to ensure uninterrupted supply to households and essential users like hospitals and key industries. The reductions in gas use are to stay in force until March 31, 2023.

“It’s important that all member states contribute in the saving, the storing and are ready to share gas,” Euronews quoted European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen as saying. All member states “will suffer” if the bloc fails to act together, she added.

The cuts could become mandatory if members states fail to cut back enough voluntarily and the energy crisis worsens, leading to a declaration of a ‘Union alert’ on the security of supply.

IMF warns of consequences of Russian gas shutoff

The main artery carrying Russian gas to Europe, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, is due to reopen after the scheduled maintenance on Thursday. Reuters reported on Tuesday that the gas flow will be resumed on time at less than full capacity, despite growing fears in the EU that Russia would use technical issues as a pretext not to restart the deliveries.

Moscow has repeatedly said it remains a reliable supplier of natural gas and will stick to its contractual obligations to customers. However, Gazprom issued a force majeure on EU gas supplies earlier this week, warning of reduced gas flows due to “extraordinary” circumstances outside the company’s control.

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