What is the EU’s gas plan and does it have support of the bloc?

by | Jul 21, 2022 | World

The European Union’s executive branch has urged member states to cut back on gas usage by 15 percent until March as fears mount that Russia may stop supplying the energy source to the bloc in the coming months.Moscow has already curtailed exports of natural gas – used to power factories, generate electricity and heat homes – to the EU following its invasion of Ukraine in late February, as its relations with the West have deteriorated sharply.
On Tuesday, a day before the European Commission unveiled its proposal for cutbacks, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that supplies could yet be further reduced.
The developments have come against the backdrop of volatile relations between Moscow and the EU over the latter’s political, economic and military support for Kyiv amid Russia’s offensive.
Here is what you need to know:
What has the EU proposed?
The Commission said member states should cut their gas usage by 15 percent from August to March, compared with their average consumption in the same period during 2016-2021.
Brussels could make the target mandatory if it deemed there was a substantial risk of severe shortages in the bloc – in the event of Russia turning off the taps completely, for example.
The proposal needs approval from a reinforced majority of EU countries – at least 72 percent of its 27 member states, so 19 or more ones – for it to be adopted.
It will be voted on at a meeting of the bloc’s energy ministers on July 26.
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Why has t …

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