EU Leaders Prepare for Russia Turning Off Gas Supply

Germany is already facing a gas crisis as supplies have been reduced due to Western sanctions

European leaders on Friday discussed the possibility of Russia cutting off gas to the entire bloc and asked the European Commission to come up with ways to deal with the scenario.

The EU has banned the import of Russian coal and agreed on a phased ban of Russian oil, with exemptions for Hungary. But the bloc can’t afford to ban Russian gas due to its heavy reliance on the commodity.

The Western sanctions campaign against Moscow has largely backfired on Europe as it is facing soaring energy prices, which Russia is profiting from. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is already facing a gas crisis as Russia has somewhat reduced supply. If the situation gets worse in Germany, the next step would be rationing.

According to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Russia has cut gas supplies either wholly or partially to 12 EU member states. Moscow cut off some members entirely, including Bulgaria and Poland, over their refusal to pay for gas in rubles, a policy Russia enacted to shield its currency from sanctions and in retaliation for the US and EU targeting Russia’s use of the dollar and euro.

Earlier this month, Russia’s Gazprom reduced the flow of gas in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which connects Russia and Germany, by 40% due to Western sanctions. A piece of equipment needed for a repair on the pipeline is stuck in Canada due to sanctions on Russia.

Countries that have been cut off entirely by Russia, such as Bulgaria, have turned to their neighbors for help. But this winter, the EU’s gas demands will be much higher. For now, as there is a lack of any real plan, EU leaders are calling on Europeans to reduce their energy use.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.