The EU’s gas rationing plan takes effect today.
Per the plan, EU countries will reduce their gas consumption by 15% until March 2023. The EU approved the plan on Tuesday, and will require member states to report on their progress every two months. Ireland, Malta, and Cyprus, which are not connected to the broader EU gas network, are exempt.
The decision comes after Russian gas giant Gazprom said that it would not be able to comply with European gas contracts. The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which accounts for a third of Russian gas exports to Europe, has been cut to 20% capacity. The EU has accused Russia of weaponizing energy supplies as part of its war effort, which Moscow denies. A lack of Russian gas has contributed to Europe’s energy crisis, with 40% of European gas sourced from Russia before the war.
As Russia receives more than $400 billion from the EU for gas exports, it is unlikely that it will turn the tap off completely. However, Moscow is likely to continue withholding gas reserves. Despite EU efforts, European countries are likely to continue to resist the 15% goal, particularly Spain, Poland and Greece, which have already criticized the policy.
Laurence is an Analyst and weekly contributor to The Daily Brief, he focuses on geopolitical and economic issues occuring in Europe and Eurasia.