Europe can limit its dependence on Russian energy by diversifying “in the relatively short term,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi told the newspaper. “Corriere della Sera”.
“We do not want to depend on Russian gas anymore, because economic dependence should not turn into political subordination,” he said. “To achieve this, we need to diversify energy sources and find new suppliers.”
To turn away from Russian energy, Italian company Eni earlier this month signed an agreement with Algerian Sonatrach to receive an additional 9 billion cubic meters. meters of gas until next year and in 2024. “Other countries will follow it,” – said Draghi. “Diversification is possible and feasible in a relatively short time, shorter than we imagined just a month ago.”
Russia currently supplies about 40 percent of its natural gas to Italy and 45 percent of its gas imports to the EU.
Draghi also said that Italy’s proposal to introduce a marginal price for natural gas “receives support” in the EU. In early April, the bloc agreed to suspend coal imports and is under pressure to extend it to oil and gas.
“Europe continues to finance Russia by buying, in particular, oil and gas at a price that has nothing to do with historical value and production costs,” Draghi said.
Asked about winter and the risk of a slowdown in industrial production in the event of a gas shortage, Draghi said Italy was in a good position to have gas in storage and new gas from other suppliers.
“Even if we have to take measures to limit emissions, they will be mild,” he said, adding that they would include heating cuts of 1-2 degrees and similar changes when it comes to air conditioners.
Draghi also said the goal would be to invest quickly in renewable energy. “So far, the obstacles have been mostly bureaucratic and permissive,” he said. “We can no longer afford such a veto.”