Europe should prepare for a possible cessation of gas supplies, save it and fill storage, says the head of the European Department of the IMF, Alfred Kammer /3/56/756506637673563.jpg” alt=”The IMF called the term for the refusal of Russian gas without consequences for Europe” />
European countries will be able to do without Russian gas for six months, but after that their economies will face serious consequences, Alfred Kammer, head of the European department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), told AFP. He urged European countries to reduce gas consumption in order to build up stocks in UGS facilities.
“During the first six months, Europe can cope with such shutdown (with the help of) alternative sources (and) use of stocks of existing storage facilities”,— Cummer said (RFI radio quote).
If the withdrawal of Russian gas continues for a longer time, for example, until next winter, Europe will face a significant impact of such a decision on its economy, he added. The International Monetary Fund predicts that a complete shutdown of gas supplies from Russia could cost the EU economy 3% of GDP, depending on how severe next winter is.
The Dutch government announced on April 22 that it plans to by the end of the year to stop the consumption of Russian gas. The Dutch authorities are planning to do this with the help of energy saving, more environmentally friendly policies and significant imports from different countries.
“In this way, the Netherlands will be able to fully save or replace the Russian share of its gas by the end of the year,” — cites a Reuters government statement.
The share of gas in the energy sector of the Netherlands is 44%, Russia's share in its supplies to the country— about 15%, the agency writes, citing government data.
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At the same time, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said that Prague cannot refuse gas from Russia at the moment.
“For the Czech Republic, this would be practically impossible or extremely difficult at the moment. As for our dependence on Russian gas, it is over 90%. But we will do our best to get rid of it as soon as possible,— said Fiala in an interview with Prazsky denik newspaper.
Since the beginning of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, the EU countries have been discussing the possibility of reducing dependence on Russian energy carriers. A number of countries, including those heavily dependent on such supplies— Germany, Austria and Hungary oppose the embargo. The Baltic countries have already announced that they will no longer buy gas from Russia.
Russia is the EU's largest supplier, providing 40% of gas, more than a quarter of oil imports and almost half of all coal supplies. So far, Brussels has decided to reduce only coal imports from Russia by imposing appropriate sanctions.
The US and the EU are now negotiating various options for limiting Russian oil imports, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the discussion. Washington fears that a full oil embargo could drive up prices and “increase the Kremlin's revenue.” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said earlier that such a decision could deal a strong blow to the European economy without having a similar effect on the Russian one.
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