Once the European Union issued its sanctions against Vladimir’s decision put it in To recognize the independence of the separatist republics in DonbassOne of the first tweets of former Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was: “Berlin stop at Nord Stream 2 will increase the price of gas up to two thousand euros per thousand cubic meters (three times or more compared to the amount paid today)”. And even if this is not the case, this is the scenario in which Europe risks, but above all Italia They receive the largest stockpiles from Russia and may have to sell gas to other EU countries. Solidarity mechanism is also voluntary but it will have a strong impact on energy costs in our country.
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Pending what will happen and other reactions that Russia will put in place, Putin said yesterday that “Russia will continue uninterrupted gas supplies to world markets.” But that can’t make us feel safe, and that’s the prime minister’s main reason Mario Draghi He is still trying to meet with the Russian Tsar, to search for another path of mediation. At the moment – the Prime Minister explained in recent days – there is still no assessment of the quantitative impact of any sanctions, but it is known that some sanctions will have a greater impact on Italy and less on other countries. And the answer is clear enough: All sanctions that indirectly affect the energy market have the greatest impact on the country that imports most of the gas. Italy has only gas, no nuclear power, coal and is more vulnerable. We are also studying how Italy can continue to get supplies from other sources if those in Russia fail.”
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gas contingency plan
European Commission offices are studying possible emergency plan To deal with this potential blockage of supplies. In any case, the European stock system is expected to face any disruption. At this point, the solidarity mechanism that does not help Italy will be launched. However, the EU Commission does not appear to be too pessimistic about winter energy risks. “We are not in a situation where we can suddenly find ourselves without gas and in any case the level of stocks is at 30% of their capacity,” he explained. Brussels He is optimistic, or at least appears to be, about the outcome of continued contacts with gas suppliers other than Russia. In January, there was a record supply of LNG as 10 billion meters were saved in an extraordinary way thanks to the “diversion” of marine transport from its original destination. The group’s assessment is in line with the consensus even if it is the fact that European stock levels, although lower than originally expected, are at their lowest in the past 10 years. It is no coincidence that Brussels decided to invite her Member States To ensure an adequate minimum by the end of September each year. It should be noted, however, that Qatar, one of the world’s largest gas exporters, to which Italy is adamantly insistent, is “almost impossible to quickly replace Russian supplies”.
On the sidelines of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Doha, Qatar’s Energy Minister Sherida Al-Kaabi explained that “the quantities that can be directed to other customers represent from 10 to 15%, but Russia represents from 30 to 40% of supplies from Europe.” Hence the impossibility of quickly replacing Russian supplies. Everything naturally depends on the time available to run for coverage. On the other hand, if Europe needs Russian gas, then Russia You need to sell it and not overnight it can replace exports to Europe with exports to China. Earlier this month, Russia and China concluded a 30-year gas supply agreement to China with a new pipeline and euro-paid contracts. This is 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Russia has been exporting gas to China since 1989 through the Power of Siberia pipeline and the transport of LNG by ship. Qatar emphasized that Europe would be able to count on its help in the event of supply difficulties.
Reliance on Russian gas
In order to understand how this happened, it is necessary to read the relations between Russia and the main countries of the European Union – including Italy – in connection with the strategic mistake that has been made since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014. Europe has made itself more and more Addicted to Russian gas Although it was obvious that this would generate significant fragility. Despite this, Europe’s dependence on Russian methane has increased since Moscow openly revealed it as an unreliable resource in 2014 in the wake of the first Ukraine crisis. That year, the European Union imported 30% of its natural gas needs from Russia – according to Eurostat – while the share has risen to 35% in recent years. In 2018, 40% of EU imports of natural gas from third countries came from Russia – again according to Eurostat – but the infection rate rose to 43.9% in 2020, and even to 46.8% in the first half of 2021. Special data Italy is largely in line with the European average. That is why Europe and Italy are paying the highest price for this mistake. The increase in consumption and investment in 2021, also affected by the epidemic, contributed to a four- or five-fold doubling of the price of natural gas in Europe in the second half of last year. Russia managed to find more than enough sales even by cutting off supplies.
Meanwhile, the Italians and Europeans continue to send about $200 million per day to Russia for oil, of which Moscow remains the only major supplier to the Union with a market share of about 25%. In short, European money is ultimately funding the Russian war effort in Ukraine now.
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