Putin is squeezing gas supplies. And Europe is getting seriously concerned about a complete shutdown
Workers walk under a pipe leading to an oil storage tank at the central processing plant for oil and gas at the Salim Petroleum Development Oil Field near the Bazhenov Shale Formation in Salim, Russia.
Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images
BRUSSELS – European leaders are concerned about the prospect of a complete shutdown of gas supplies from Russia.
Russia’s state-backed energy supplier, Gazprom, has reduced its gas flow to Europe by about 60% in the past few weeks, prompting Germany, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands to all signal that they are once again turning to coal. can turn.
It comes as Europe – which gets about 40% of its gas via Russian pipelines – tries to sharply reduce its reliance on Russian hydrocarbons in response to the Kremlin’s nearly four-month-long attack in Ukraine .
“Russia is gradually reducing gas supplies for some countries” [by] almost 100%; For others, 10, a 15% cut,” the European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell told CNBC on Friday.
“I don’t think they’re going to cut gas overnight, especially as we’re going into the summer and gas isn’t a strategic weapon during the summer. But winter can be tough and we have to be prepared in Europe.”
Asked if he is concerned that Russia may cut gas supplies altogether, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel told CNBC: “I am fully aware that they can. They can. . It’s their choice, a natural choice. They can close or open.”
He stressed the importance of all 27 EU member states agreeing on their point of view on the issue. “A person in Moscow can decide for himself to cut Europe’s energy.”
This is a developing story and will be updated soon.
, CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this report