French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Europe must prepare for Russian gas deliveries to be shut off entirely.
“Let’s prepare ourselves for a total cut-off of Russian gas,” Le Maire said at an economic conference in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, on Sunday. “That’s the most likely scenario today.”
France must be careful in its energy consumption, build up gas stockpiles, reduce red tape slowing the development of renewable energies, and accelerate its program to build new nuclear reactors, the finance minister said.
European Union nations will discuss winter contingency plans at an emergency meeting on July 26 in a bid to ensure there are sufficient gas reserves to get through peak demand for heating and power. The industry has warned that winter may be even tougher if Moscow halts flows, given limited options to import gas from elsewhere.