Friday, April 29, 2022

European Countries Signaling Have Enough Energy To Stop Relying On Russia

A handful of EU Countries say they have adequate Reserves to wean themselves off Russian Energy. But a bloc-wide Embargo on Russian Supplies is a long way off and must be unanimously backed. Germany, Poland, and Bulgaria, have All signaled moves away from reliance on Russia for Energy.

Russia supplied 41% of the EU's Natural Gas in 2019. Poland and Bulgaria issued defiant Statements this week, after Russia cut off their Gas supplies.

"Bulgaria will not negotiate under pressure and with its head bowed. Bulgaria does not give in and is not sold at any price at any trade counterparty.", said Alexander Nikolov, Bulgaria's Energy Minister.

Austria's Government also said on Wednesday, that it would continue buying Russian Energy, but that it was scrambling for Alternative sources to fill its needs,

The next day, the Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, said the Country had Oil for Three months, Gas for two months, and Nuclear Reserves for Two years. But while the Czech Republic doesn't buy directly from Russia's Gazprom, it is heavily dependent on Energy sold by Russia through Western markets.

Latvia and Lithuania, were the First EU Countries to cut themselves off from Russian Gas on April 1st, using Underground Latvian Reserves to satisfy demand. Days later, Finland announced it was on track to Replace Russian Gas sources by Fall.

On Wednesday, German Officials signaled that the Country was preparing to stop buying Russian Oil, as long as it was given enough time to Secure alternatives.

For those Countries without immediate Alternatives, the Transition is unlikely to happen quickly. Germany, for example, relies on Russia for about a Third of its Gas. And while Germany has an outsize Influence in the European bloc, all 27 Member States must agree to a full Ban, and some are dragging their heels.

Hungary, whose Authoritarian Leader Viktor Orbán, is broadly Loyal to Putin, is One of the Countries most Dependent on Russian Natural Gas. Orbán also suggested that he would accede to a Key Russian demand of paying Gazprom, in Rubles for its Supply.

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