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Germany, France prepare for permanent gas cuts from Russia

Germany, France prepare for permanent gas cuts from Russia

Posted July. 12, 2022 08:04,   

Updated July. 12, 2022 08:04


Germany and France are coming up with measures to prepare for Russia’s suspension of the natural gas supply. Russia had stopped the operation of Nord Stream 1, a pipeline that supplies natural gas to European countries through Germany for the reasons of repair from Monday to July 21. However, Europe is not ruling out the possibility of Russia’s permanent suspension of natural gas supply to retaliate against Western countries’ sanctions. Therefore, Germany and France are seeking various responses, such as supplying gas to hospitals with priority.

“We need to honestly prepare for the worst-case scenario and do our best to try to deal with the situation,” German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck said at a radio interview on Sunday, according to The Guardian.

Germany came up with guidelines to prioritize hospitals and emergency services over households to supply natural gas when gas supply from Russia is cut off. The country is also discussing other measures, such as accommodating citizens in large dormitories, closing down pools, and turning off street lights and traffic lights. German real estate company Vonovia began to limit nighttime heating temperature to under 17 degrees Celsius for rental houses to reduce gas consumption.

France is also seeking various measures, such as reducing the energy consumption of households and companies, increasing gas reserves, developing alternative energy, and building new nuclear reactors. Supplying different amounts of energy to companies and increasing energy support for low-income groups are also under review.

Canada, which was in charge of repairing the turbine of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and had not returned the turbine to Germany for the reasons of sanctions, decided to return it on Saturday. Russia pointed to the poor repair of the turbine as the main reason for gas supply suspension. This means there is a possibility that Russia will begin to supply gas again after July 21.

Jeong-Soo Hong hong@donga.com