The head of the Austrian OMV assessed the country’s readiness for the gas embargo

Head of OMV Stern: Austria is not ready to ban gas imports from Russia According to Stern, without gas supplies from Russia in Austria there will be problems in industry and energy production, as they consume more than 70% of the gas supplied per year

Austria is not yet ready to impose a ban on gas imports from Russia, because without supplies it is impossible to ensure the necessary level of gas supply, Alfred Stern, head of the Austrian energy company OMV, said in an interview with the Kurier newspaper.

“I don't think we're ready for an embargo today. Unless we're willing to accept the consequences. Because you need to clearly understand one thing: our gas supply is provided not by our own production in Europe, but by supplies from Russia,— he said (quote from RIA Novosti).

The head of OMV pointed out that in case of refusal of Russian gas, Austria will face problems with maintaining economic activity. According to him, the country will be able to provide heat to households (they consume about 20% of gas per year), but industry (40%) and energy production (35%) need much more energy. According to Gazprom, in 2020 Austria bought more than 13 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia. m of gas, ranking fourth in terms of this volume among European countries (Germany was in the first place).

Stern noted that a task force on gas was created to analyze the supply issue.

Speaking about the oil embargo that the EU plans to introduce as part of the sixth package of sanctions, Stern pointed out that Austria is no longer using oil from Russia in its refineries. However, he admitted that the embargo would cause high oil prices, since Russia provides large volumes of production. Earlier, the ZDF TV channel reported that Austria had withdrawn its veto on the imposition of an embargo on oil imports.

The EU called different deadlines for the rejection of Russian gas. In March, the European Commission presented the REPowerEU plan, which provides for a phase-out by 2030. In April, Austrian Energy and Climate Minister Leonore Gewessler indicated that the EC had revised the timeline and 2027 was the new target.

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In Italy, they admitted that they could refuse Russian gas supplies by the second half of 2024. The German government has said the country plans to phase out Russian gas as soon as possible, but replacing it will take a long time. French President Emmanuel Macron noted in April that his country “does not need” Russian gas, but Europe as a whole is dependent on supplies.

Gewessler pointed out that the European Union is 80% dependent on Russian gas. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said in March that Russia provides 40% of gas imports.

The Kremlin noted that if Europe decides to abandon Russian gas, the country will find new buyers. “As for gas, we will try to export it to other countries. A lot of people need gas, & mdash; Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

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