MILANO – Diplomacy at work to try to find the square on the European emergency plan for gas. The document put on the table by the Commission plans to cut consumption by 15%, in the space of eight months, with a voluntary process which, however, can become mandatory in the event of a traumatic interruption of supplies by Russia or at the request of three member countries in difficulty. A position on which important “no” have already been recorded: first from Portugal and Spain, then also from Germany and Italy, which expressed its perplexities. Some, such as the Iberian countries, complain of having to face a gas cut even if they do not depend on the Kremlin for this item. Others, like us, who would be punished for efforts to make themselves as independent as possible from Putin.
A switch to the Coreper, or rather at the level of EU ambassadors, but tomorrow the dossier will float on the table of the energy ministers and we have to see if it will not be necessary to hypothesize a postponement. Among the alternatives that some are proposing is to maintain an ambitious target at the level of voluntary cuts, but if the reduction were imposed by Brussels, it would be necessary to move to an ad hoc recalculation of the objectives taking into account the dependence on Russia and the level of filling of storages.
Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts continue to find alternative channels in Moscow. Italy has taken its last steps in Algeria, while at the weekend Matthew Baldwin, deputy director general of the Commission for the energy department, explained that it is working with Nigeria to try to increase arrivals from the African country. Speaking from Nigeria, he took stock of the security of the Niger Delta area and received reassurances that there are plans to reopen the Trans Niger pipeline after the end of August. Speaking to Reuters, he explained that supplies of liquefied gas (equal to 14% of those received by the EU) have the potential to double. Sure, there are serious instability issues: The finance agency explains that vandalism and thefts have left the Bonny Island terminal operating at 60% of its capacity.
Even among European countries, the issue continues to be fought. From Berlin, Klaus Mueller, president of the Federal Network Agency for Digitization, Climate Neutrality and Resilience, says that “German gas storage facilities are at 65.91% and are therefore finally back on a path of decent injection “. Germany found itself in the need to bail out the gas importer Uniper, which had put an end to withdrawals from storage.