Russia does not fulfil its obligations to fill underground gas storage facilities, transit and supply of gas, and also stops gas supplies due to the "repair" of gas infrastructure.
In order to protect the population of the European Union countries and counteract state policies that use energy as a weapon, the Council of Europe decided to reduce gas consumption by 15% from August 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023. Thus, the EU countries will save on gas and will be ready for interruptions in supplies from Russia.
"The EU is united and in solidarity. Today's decision made it clear that member states will oppose any attempt by Russia to divide the EU using energy supplies as a weapon. The adoption of the proposal to reduce gas in record time has undoubtedly strengthened our common energy security. Saving gas now will improve readiness. Winter will be much cheaper and easier for EU citizens and industry," Josef Síkela, minister of industry and trade of the Czech Republic.
The states agreed that the reduction in consumption will not affect all countries. In particular, states that are not connected to the gas networks of other EU member states, as well as countries whose electricity networks are not synchronized with the European electricity system and are heavily dependent on gas for electricity generation, will not participate in the procedure.
"The Council agreed that member states that are not interconnected to other member states’ gas networks are exempted of mandatory gas reductions as they would not be able to free up significant volumes of pipeline gas to the benefit of other member states. Member states whose electricity grids are not synchronized with the European electricity system and are heavily reliant on gas for electricity production are also exempted, in order to avoid the risk of an electricity supply crisis," Jozef Síkela.
The states agreed that measures to reduce energy consumption from the aggressor country would not affect protected clients: critical infrastructure, medical and educational institutions, households and defence facilities.