Gas shortages could put Europe in a position when? Even with money you will not be able to get electricity? The Prime Minister of Montenegro said
Disruption of Russian gas supply and mass switchover to electricity will lead to “a general energy collapse” in Europe, Montenegro’s Prime Minister Dritan Abazovi? claimed on Monday.
Speaking to Parliament, Abrazovic recalled the recent comments made by German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, who, amid threatening energy difficulties during the winter, advised his countrymen to spend less time in the shower and to prepare warm clothes.
In Abrazovic’s opinion, if anyone from his government came up with such advice, he would be ridiculed. Montenegrin ministers are now focused on preventing a crisis like this, he said, but not everything depends on them.
“If it becomes true that in the autumn, or at the beginning of cold days, gas will not be delivered from Russia to Western Europe at a level that satisfies its economy, and if it switches to electricity, there will be a general energy collapse,” he warned.
He explained that there was an even greater danger than increasing energy prices: In his opinion, there may be a situation where “not even with money you will be able to get electricity.”
Ministers, Abrazovic warned, are now focused on preventing the worst-case scenarios but also on preparing for them. He said one of the ways to do that was to rebalance the budget. The Prime Minister also emphasized that although Montenegro, unlike some other European countries, was not dependent on natural gas, it still needed to be prepared and should “look at how to get the most out of the tourism industry.”
“But both Covid and the crisis caused by the war in Ukraine should teach us the following: We must increase food production and become a country that is not energy dependent,” he said.
To become more independent, the focus should also be on building new energy facilities, according to Abrazovic.
The Prime Minister expressed certainty that his government addressed the issues correctly and that there was no reason to panic.
Earlier this month, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned Fatih Birol EU to be prepared for the possibility of a complete shutdown of Russian gas exports this winter, urging bloc members to broaden the range of measures aimed at preparing for this scenario, according to Financial Times.
Germany, Austria, Italy and the Netherlands announced their plans to intensify the use of coal for electricity production, while Sweden and Denmark said they would also launch emergency measures to curb the use of natural gas.
The European gas market is already experiencing a severe shortage of imported energy. Transports from Russian Gazprom through the Nord Stream pipeline have declined significantly this month due to a shortage of parts due to sanctions.
The reduced deliveries come at a time when Europe is competing to replenish ahead of the winter, with gas storage on the continent currently at 55%, according to recent data.
The EU plans to phase out Russian gas by 2030 as part of its response to Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, which began in late February. However, several countries, including Germany, have repeatedly warned that their economies would suffer if flows were stopped immediately.