European Union Ministers Sign Off On Voluntary Gas Cuts By 15%

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…….Offer concession to some members

Union (EU) energy ministers today agreed to a watered-down version of the Commission’s proposal to reduce gas consumption across the block by 15% starting August and ending next March.

Under the new agreement, some EU members would be allowed a lower rate of consumption as they prepare for lower Russian gas flows, Reuters reported yesterday.

The new agreement comes after several days of intense among the ministers, after the EU proposed last week a 15% voluntary consumption cut, to be mandatory in case of a gas emergency.

The report said a number of EU members, including Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Denmark, spoke out against mandatory gas consumption cuts, with Spain’s ecological transition minister, Teresa Ribera, saying last week, “Unlike other countries, the Spanish population has not lived above our means from an energy standpoint.”

One unnamed diplomat described the situation during the discussions of the EC proposal as “a total mess”.

“While coordination in the spirit of solidarity is indispensable, it cannot be used as a tool for ‘mutualising the consequences’ of prolonged, systematic -dependence of some countries on Russian gas and lack of investments in diversification,” the diplomat added, as quoted by Euronews earlier this week.

The agreement comes as Russia’s Gazprom warned that it will further cut gas flows to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline from tomorrow, saying it had to halt another turbine while it awaits the return of the now notorious piece of equipment that had to be delivered by Canada amid new anti-Russian sanctions agreed by the of Justin Trudeau.

Reports say flows via Nord Stream 1 now stand at 40% of capacity, which will be reduced to 20% starting tomorrow. Per the final version of the agreement, countries and industries would be exempt from the should they become mandatory due to the opposition of some member states to the original proposal.

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