Moscow has announced that they want countries that have placed sanctions on Russia to now pay for their Russian gas in roubles. However, the EU has rejected the idea. This is because this move will support the Russian currency which western countries do not want to happen until they stop their invasion of Ukraine.
The sanctions put on Russia were to slow down their invasion of Ukraine. Paying Russia for their gas in roubles would only be counteracting the efforts to slow down Russia’s ability to take over Ukraine.
Although Moscow has said that the payment change will be introduced gradually, some EU countries are starting to think of strategies to overcome any issues they may encounter due to these changes.
Some countries are considering beginning to ration their gas supply to prepare for possible shortages. Germany and Austria are two countries that are planning to ration their gas if needed. Germany has already urged their consumers to reduce their energy consumption as well as Austria taking stances to monitor its gas market.
Gas rationing is when a country that is in a state of emergency due to low oil and gas levels will ration supplies to those who need them most. For example, the gas would be prioritized for places such as hospitals and emergency services along with households. However, this would mean services that are lower down on the priority line are going to suffer. These industries are going to suffer massive losses and could result in many job losses.
Germany and Austria both get a large amount of their gas and oil from Russia. Germany gets around 50% of its gas and around 33% of its oil from Russia. Whilst Austria gets around 80% of its gas from Russia. Both countries rely heavily on Russian energy supplies, and could both see serious issues if supplies stopped from Russia.
Along with EU countries, the UK government has also said we won’t be paying for our gas in roubles as the government stated that was something they were not looking to do.
With rationing being considered for other European countries some MPs in the UK think it would be a good idea for us to consider the same approach for the UK energy system. However, a lot of our main economical resources within the UK rely on energy sources, therefore the government has said that energy will not be rationed in the UK despite pressures on supplies.
The UK argues that we only receive 3% of our oil from Russia. We also have more of a range of sources to ensure our supply continues if Russia did decide to slow down supplies to the west.
The government’s plan on what they are doing over Russia will most likely be a part of the upcoming energy strategy. They have given the impression so far that they want to focus on increasing energy generated from onshore wind farms and focus on building more offshore sights.
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