About twelve European Union countries have lamented Russia’s decision to cut gas supply as a strategy in the ongoing battle with Ukraine and other NATO ally.
Frans Timmermans, EU climate policy chief accused Moscow of weaponizing energy in the region,
“Russia has weaponized energy, and we have seen further gas disruptions announced in recent days. All this is part of Russia’s strategy to undermine our unity,” Timmermans said in the European Parliament.
He further explained that in total, twelve member States are now affected by Russian unilateral supply cuts, adding that ten member States had issued early warning about this under the gas security of supply regulation.
“The risk of full gas disruption is now more real than ever before,” he stressed, adding “this is why it is important to adopt gas storage regulation alongside other measures of preparedness.”
The twelve EU countries that are partially or totally affected are Lithuania, Bulgaria, Poland, Germany, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Germany has just announced, and informed the EU Commission, that it is moving to step 2 of the EU SoS regulation, the “alert” level, a EU Commission spokesperson told CNN.
The “early warning” is the lowest level of crisis notification under the bloc’s Gas Security of Supply Regulation, accelerating the monitoring and information exchange requirements in the member State concerned.
According to this regulation, the natural gas undertakings concerned shall make technical information available, on a daily basis, to the competent authority of the member State.
Before the war, Russia supplied 40% of Europe’s gas supplies, so limitations on storing gas or ramping up imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in certain countries including Germany make replacing Russian gas entirely near impossible in the short term. EU leaders have downplayed the likelihood of a total ban on Russian gas as it is seen as impractical and politically divisive.