European Union ready if Russia cuts gas supply: EU official

“We are not afraid of Putin’s decisions,” said the European Commissioner for the Economy.

Cernobbio, Italy:

European Economics Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said on Saturday that the European Union was “well prepared” in the event of a total stoppage of Russian gas deliveries, thanks to storage capacities and energy saving measures. .

“We are well prepared to resist the extreme use of the gas weapon by Russia,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an economic forum organized by the European House – Ambrosetti.

“We are not afraid of Putin’s decisions, we ask the Russians to respect the contracts, but if they don’t, we are ready to react,” he said.

The Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Friday that the Nord Stream gas pipeline linking Russia and northern Germany, which was to resume service on Saturday after a three-day interruption for maintenance operations, would be “completely” stopped until until a turbine is repaired.

Moscow was reacting to a decision announced Friday by the G7 countries to target Russia’s energy windfall by agreeing to cap the price of its oil.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday that “it is time” to cap the price of gas imported through the pipeline from Russia, backing a measure advocated by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

In the European Union, “gas storage is currently at around 80%, thanks to the diversification of supplies”, even if the situation varies from one country to another, specified Mr. Gentiloni.

He said Brussels had “done a lot in recent months” but “today it is possible to do more”.

The aim is to “pursue the strategy of a united Europe working against the invasion of Ukraine using economic weapons”, he explained.

“We are not participating in war, we are not participating in military escalation,” he said.

“We support Ukraine. We have to do it now more effectively.”

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