France is developing energy contingency plans in response to Russian gas supply curbs that have impacted the European market, but has yet to put them into effect, according to Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Monday.
Le Maire said that discussions with French Energy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher were already beginning, but specifics had yet to be finalized. In reaction to unprecedented EU sanctions placed on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has curtailed gas exports to a dozen European nations.
“(…) We will determine which companies are of the most strategic importance, namely those for whom we can allow gas to be cut off and those for whom we cannot allow any cuts,” Le Maire said on RMC Radio.
Last week, European Union leaders decided to step up preparations for more Russian gas cutbacks, accusing Moscow of “weaponising” energy via a supply crunch that Germany said may partially shut down its economy. more info
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire also said on Monday that he supports recommendations by the leaders of France’s leading energy firms for households and businesses to immediately reduce power usage in order to prepare for an impending energy crisis.
“We need to work collectively to reduce our consumption in order to regain room to manoeuvre,” the CEOs of Engie (ENGIE.PA), EDF (EDF.PA), and TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) said in an open letter published by the weekly daily Journal du Dimanche.
The letter, signed by Catherine MacGregor of Engie, Jean-Bernard Levy of EDF, and Patrick Pouyanne of TotalEnergies, claimed substantial drops in Russian gas imports as well as reduced power output due to maintenance concerns.