According to Bloomberg, citing diplomatic sources, the European Union will offer its member states “voluntarily” to cut Russian gas consumption by 15% starting next month.
Diplomats familiar with the EU’s plans have indicated that the goal will be included in the European Commission’s plan to deal with potential disruptions to Russian gas supplies, which will be announced on Wednesday.
The European Commission’s measures aim to “save gas for a safer winter” in Europe and include steps to reduce heating and cooling.
The commission estimates that a “harsh winter” could threaten 1.5% of Europe’s GDP this year.
The proposals of the European Commission proceed from the fact that Russia will not fully continue gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, through which supplies were suspended for maintenance and which previously operated at about 40% of its capacity. what.
Cuts in Russian gas supplies have affected 12 EU countries and prompted Germany to raise the gas sector’s alert level to its second-highest level last month.
The volume of Russian gas supplies in June last year was less than 30% of the average volume that Russia supplied for the same period of 2016-2021.
The proposed measures would allow the European Union to declare a union-wide state of emergency in the event of specific risks arising from a severe shortage of supplies or a sharp increase in demand, according to diplomats who asked not to be named. .
These measures will require member state approval, which the European Commission could request next week during an emergency meeting of energy ministers.
It is noteworthy that a large group of countries oppose mandatory restrictions on energy consumption, noting that governments have developed their national plans ahead of any emergency and will reduce consumption regardless of European guidelines.