The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, guaranteed this Tuesday that the company Gazprom will “fully” fulfill its obligations, in the midst of the drop in gas deliveries to Europe after the sanctions of the Western powers, and while the European Union (EU) prepare to discuss tomorrow a consumption reduction plan to face the winter.
“Gazprom fulfilled, continues to fulfill and will fully fulfill its obligations, if someone needs it,” Putin told reporters in Tehran after a meeting with the leaders of Iran and Turkey..
Since Putin decided to intervene in Ukraine and the West responded with sanctions against Moscow, Russia reduced its gas deliveries to prevent supplies to EU countries, prompting the European Commission to prepare a “gas demand reduction plan” to face the winter.
in Tehran, Putin criticized the West for seeking to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels in favor of green energy.
“They are great experts on non-traditional relationships and energy; they also decided to rely on non-traditional energies, sun and wind. They are shutting everything down themselves and then looking for someone to blame. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.” Putin declared, according to the AFP agency.
In May, EU rulers suspended most Russian oil imports as part of an unprecedented set of sanctions against Moscow, but the bloc left open the chance to import Russian gas.
— Agence France-Presse (@AFPespanol) July 19, 2022
In his speech, Putin also called on Western powers to lift restrictions on Russian grain exports.
“We will facilitate the export of grain from Ukraine, but we proceed from the fact that all restrictions on air shipments for the export of Russian grain will be lifted,” Putin said.
While, The EU is preparing a mandatory cut in gas consumption as a preventive step to a possible cessation of supply.
According to the latest draft of the plan “Gas savings for a safe winter”, which will be discussed this Wednesday and revealed by the Ansa agency, the mandatory reduction will be activated in case of alarm, while in case of pre-alarm the cuts will continue to be voluntary.
“It is impossible to predict what Gazprom will do; we are preparing for the worst case scenario,” Commission spokesman Eric Mamer explained.
Gazprom, according to sources cited by Bloomberg, would be ready to restart, albeit at a reduced rate, gas exports to Europe via Nord Stream on Thursday, or at the end of the scheduled maintenance period.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “a prolonged total gas cut would cause shortages in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe that could experience losses in terms of GDP of up to 6%, with a significant impact” also for Italy.
The emergency plan was presented several times and although States were previously urged to force offices and public places to maintain the temperature inside at 19 degrees in winter and 25 in summer, now the numerical indications have disappeared.
However, there is a proposed regulation -therefore directly applicable and mandatory- according to which, in the event of a state of alarm, by March 2023 at the latest, the states will be obliged to reduce gas consumption.
The percentage is the same for everyone, but, in absolute terms, the reduction will be based on the weighted average of the consumption of the last 5 years, which could generate disagreementsbecause there are countries in which the specific weight of the Russian gas cut will be greater.
The Commission will also indicate which sectors need to take action, based on the relationship between energy consumption and production.
Wednesday, Friday and Monday there could be three meetings of the 27 ambassadors to the Energy Affairs Council.
As it is a Council regulation, the approval by a qualified majority of the countries is sufficient, which provides for the yes of 55% of the members and 65% of the European population.