20:19 / 28.03.2022.

Author: Katja Miličić

EU lacks infrastructure to wean itself off Russian gas, experts warn

Will Russia cut gas deliveries to Europe?

Will Russia cut gas deliveries to Europe?

Foto: File Photo / REUTERS

Does Europe have a coordinated plan to guarantee energy security for next winter and can it ensure the needed supply of gas from sources other than Russia?  

The US has made a deal with the EU to help Europe meet its energy needs by promising to deliver 15 billion cubic meters of LNG this year. Davor Štern and Igor Dekanić, both experts in this field, told Croatian Radio this is nowhere near enough to make up for what Europe imports from Russia annually.

"In my opinion this is not enough. This was a promise that was supposed to quell European concerns but it is just peanuts. It's not very serious in contrast to what had been expected,” said Štern.

He says there are not enough LNG export or import terminals to meet European demand and adds that the price of LNG is likely to be high. Dekanić agrees.

"Fifteen billion (cubic meters) is one tenth of 150 billion, which is around the amount Europe receives from Russia,” he said.

Both experts agreed that Europe must build out its infrastructure and bolster its capacity to use alternative energy sources before it can wean itself of Russian gas, which will take years.

Russia demanded last week that "unfriendly" countries must pay in rubles for its gas after the US and European allies enacted sanctions aimed at Russia. European Union leaders on Friday reached no common position on the matter but on Monday G-7 energy ministers rejected the ruble payment demands. G-7 Ministers reaffirmed during a virtual meeting on Monday that contracts "must be respected," with most stipulating payments be in euros or dollars.

Asked by reporters earlier if Russia could cut natural gas supplies to European customers if they reject the demand to pay in rubles, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia would not "supply gas for free."

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