Italy is receiving less and less gas from Russia.  The government could declare a state of alert

Russia supplies 40% of the European Union’s natural gas. It also supplies 27% of the EU’s imported oil, and the EU bloc pays Russia about 400 billion euros a year in return.

In response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU has taken steps to get rid of Russian fossil fuels, banning most oil imports by the end of 2022.

It has pledged to reduce gas imports from Russia by two-thirds within a year, but it has been difficult to reach an agreement on other measures, such as a total ban on imports.

Member States have been urged to stockpile gas during the warmer summer months, before rising fuel demand in the winter, but recent steps by Russia to reduce supply have raised concerns that the continent may have difficulty accumulate sufficient reserves.

Italy could declare an increased “state of alert” for natural gas next week if Russia continues to cut supplies, government sources told Reuters.

Such a move would trigger a series of measures aimed at reducing consumption, including streamlining gas for selected industrial users under existing contracts, accelerating production at coal-fired power plants and soliciting gas imports from other suppliers.

Like Italy, Slovakia reported on Friday that it received less than half its regular volumes through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which crosses the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

France, meanwhile, said it had not received Russian gas from Germany since June 15, but that the country was supplied elsewhere.

Germany has accused Gazprom of trying to raise energy prices by abruptly reducing deliveries, but the energy company said it was due to the delayed return of equipment maintained by the German company Siemens Energy in Canada.

Austria also reported large declines in Russian gas supplies. The Kremlin said this was not premeditated.

Russia, Bulgaria, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands have already had their Russian gas supplies suspended after refusing to pay in Russian rubles.

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