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Concerns Regarding Europe’s Natural Gas Crisis
Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia (edaily.co.kr)

Concerns about the natural gas crisis have risen recently as Russia has mentioned “supply discontinuation” of the European natural gas supply. The value of Russia’s currency, the ruble, has dropped significantly since the invasion of Ukraine. Thus, Russia requested foreign countries to purchase natural gas in rubles, but European countries have refused to oblige. According to Reuters , Robert Habeck, the vice-chancellor of Germany, announced on March 28th that Group of Seven (G7) ministers have agreed to reject Russia’s request. G7 ministers asserted that Russia’s request was a onesided violation of the existing contract and urged enterprises to dismiss the demand. Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin Press Secretary, responded to this resistance by saying that “Russia will not deliver gas to Europe for free.” Despite the concerns, Europe is already preparing for the crisis. At the beginning of this year, the European Union (EU) decided to reduce the reliance on Russian gas by two-thirds and halt Russian fossil fuel importation by 2027. Germany, specifically, is planning to operate some coal-fired power plants. However, experts say that Europe will have to undergo some costly decisions to substitute all Russian gas in a short period. The International Energy Agency expects that the EU will only be able to replace about 80 billion cubic meters at most this year due to past transactions. Joel Hancock, the vice president of Natixis, a French bank, criticized the EU’s goal as “very unrealistic in the short-term.”

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