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Uncertainty looms over how EU plans to secure energy supplies ahead of cold winter

ERDAL TANAS KARAGÖL,  Saturday 11:03, 24 September 2022

As the weather begins to cool in Europe, both rising energy prices and concerns about energy supply security continue to surge. As numerous countries have announced saving measures to counter these price increases, others continue their search for alternative sources.

With existing pipelines and the limited amount of natural gas that will come as LNG in the short term, it will be very difficult for EU states to meet natural gas demand and achieve energy supply security.

Thus, many predict that the energy standoff between Russia and European countries will only become more aggressive.


RUSSIA AND EUROPEAN COUNTRIES AT DEAD END ON ENERGY SUPPLY SECURITY


It is expected that the sanctions wars between Russia and EU countries will continue. While European countries are announcing economic and financial sanctions, Russia says that it will use its strongest trump card, energy sanctions, more prominently as winter approaches.

In fact, as a more concrete sanction, Gazprom has made it clear that it will not reopen the natural gas pipeline to Europe, which was closed for the time being.

Russian President Putin also challenged the European countries by saying that natural gas, oil, coal, and heating oil will not be provided and that European countries will freeze this winter.

Thanks to these steps, which Russia started by using the energy trump card, which it has now accelerated even more, sanctions are entering another phase. Russia, due to the looming winter and to take advantage of the high dependence of European countries on Russia when it comes to energy, wants to both reduce the impact of the economic sanctions that European countries will impose on it and avoid facing more severe sanctions.

In fact, with the partial mobilization decisions taken recently, Russia will more powerfully use its energy trump card for the war that will intensify in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, a state of total confusion casts a shadow on how European countries will face the situation to overcome the energy crisis and how they will act to solve this problem.


On the one hand, there is a situation caused by price increases, on the other, there are concerns that there will be a period when it becomes difficult to access natural gas even when there’s willingness what exubirant prices are being asked in exchange for it.


Because, as things currently stand, there is a total uncertainty due to the fact that there is no natural gas flow from Russia, the amount of natural gas stored cannot meet the amount to be used throughout the year, and the concern that whatever limited amount of LNG delivered to European countries that is needed for this winter will simply not be enough.


WHAT KIND OF CHOICE WILL HAVE TO BE MADE?


It is crucial to see whether the uncertainty caused by the current conditions will cause a policy shift between European countries and Russia. It is no secret that it is an important choice will have to be made particularly on how European countries will choose to pursue energy supply security and the future of sanctions against Russia.


A policy shift that would ensure energy supply security is expected to contribute significantly to the normalization of world energy prices and to taming inflation, which is on the upswing globally.

#Energy
#Europe
#Russia
#Ukraine
#Gas
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