Italy in trouble if Russia soon curbs gas supplies, says minister

(9 May 2022) Italy would be in trouble if Russia decided to curb its gas supplies to the country in the next few months, Ecological Transition minister Roberto Cingolani told Festival Città Impresa in an interview on Sunday.

Italy currently imports about 29 billion cubic metres of gas per year from Russia.

If Russia decides to cut its gas supplies to Italy, the government has already signed agreements with countries in Africa to diversify its imports.

“Under the deals, 25 billion cubic metres are ensured from 2024 onwards. This means that a large part of the work has been done,” announced Cingolani.  Flows of LNG (liquefied natural gas) will increase starting from the second quarter of 2022, but getting more gas from other countries will require time, he added.

“We are in a war economy, and in such a scenario, some countries will be much more affected by energy choices than others,” the minister also said.

Meanwhile, Italy’s industry has seen a drop in production due to the Russia-Ukraine war, the energy crisis, and tensions over commodity prices.

Industrial production dropped 1.6% in the first quarter of 2022, according to a report released on Saturday (7 May) by Confindustria, the main association representing manufacturing and service companies in Italy. Production even dropped 2.5% in April, when the price of natural gas saw a 698% increase compared to pre-pandemic levels.

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, 9 May 2022: Italy in trouble if Russia soon curbs gas supplies, says minister