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Europe agrees to urgent gas restrictions, Kiev calls the Russian supply restraints ‘price terror’

Following compromise agreements to cap decreases for some nations, European Union members preparing for further reductions in Russian gas supply on Tuesday agreed a weaker emergency plan to reduce demand.


From Wednesday, when Russia’s Gazprom has announced it will reduce flows via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany to a fifth of capacity, Europe will face a tighter gas supply.


Brussels is advising EU members to save gas and store it for the upcoming winter, as a dozen EU nations are already experiencing reduced Russian supply due to sanctions over the Ukraine war.


Energy ministers agreed a plan calling on all EU nations to voluntarily reduce their gas consumption in the months of August through March by 15% from the average for the years 2017 through 2021.


In the event of a supply shortage, the cuts might become legally mandatory if the majority of EU nations concur. However, members decided to exclude a number of businesses from the mandatory 15% decrease.


The agreement, according to German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, will demonstrate to Russian President Vladimir Putin that Europe is still one. Habeck retorted, ‘You won’t split us.’


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