EU countries urged to prepare for Russian gas cut: summit draft

(EurActiv, 23 May 2022) EU member states need to step up preparations for a possible major disruption of Russian gas supplies, according to the draft conclusions of an EU summit meeting scheduled for Monday and Tuesday next week (30-31 May).

The draft conclusions, which are still likely to change before they are adopted, say there needs to be a coordinated European contingency plan for gas cut-offs, bilateral solidarity agreements and a quick filling of gas storage before next winter.

“Preparedness [for] possible major supply disruptions and the resilience of the EU gas market should be improved, in particular through swiftly agreeing on bilateral solidarity agreements and a coordinated European contingency plan,” reads the draft summit communiqué.

EU leaders are also expected to welcome the agreement found between EU negotiators on obligatory gas storage, which aims to have EU storage capacity at least 85% full by 1 November 2022.

The filling of gas storage before next winter should be accelerated, according to the draft, which can still be amended by EU leaders when they meet in Brussels next week.

Three EU countries have already been cut off from Russian gas supplies because they refused to pay for gas in roubles as mandated by the Kremlin. Poland and Bulgaria lost their supply in late April while Finland’s was cut on Saturday (21 May).

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EurActiv, 23 May 2022: EU countries urged to prepare for Russian gas cut: summit draft