Italy says reduced dependence on Russian gas by quarter

AFP , Saturday 25 Jun 2022

Italy has managed to reduce its dependence on gas imported from Russia to 25 percent from 40 percent last year as it diversifies suppliers, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Friday.

Rome, Italy
File Photo: A man walks past a petrol station price board in central Rome, Wednesday, June 15, 2022. AP


"The measures the government has put in place since the beginning of the (Ukraine) war are starting to pay off. In other words, other gas suppliers are beginning to replace Russian gas," Draghi told the Italian media in Brussels following the EU summit.

To reduce its dependence on Russian gas following its invasion of neighbour Ukraine, Italy signed a major agreement with Algeria in April on increased gas supplies.

Discussions have also been held with Qatar, Angola and Mozambique.

In addition, Italy was thinking ahead to the winter season when gas demand is higher, and "storage is going very well", Draghi said.

The measures planned by Italy "guarantee that there will be no (gas) emergency" in winter, he said.

According to Italy's Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani, Italian stocks are currently at 55 percent and should reach 90 percent by the end of the year.

"We are almost out of danger," he said Friday in an interview with La Stampa daily.

Italy's tone contrasted with the concern expressed by Germany, which is similarly heavily dependent on Russian gas.

Germany is facing a gas shortage and will have to make "very difficult social choices" for households and businesses if Russian supplies fall further, Economy Minister Robert Habeck warned Friday.

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