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What does Russia's decision to cut gas to Poland mean for Austria?

Hayley Maguire
Hayley Maguire - [email protected]
What does Russia's decision to cut gas to Poland mean for Austria?
A Gazprom logo.Photo: INA FASSBENDER / AFP

Austria's Minister for Energy has confirmed gas supplies to Austria are continuing "without restriction" but warned a dependency on Russian energy must come to an end.

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On Wednesday morning, Russia's Gazprom stopped gas supplies flowing to Poland and threatened Bulgaria with similar action later in the day.

The move comes after both countries refused to comply with Vladimir Putin's demands that customers must pay for natural gas in Roubles instead of Euros in retaliation to EU sanctions.

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The stop to gas supplies in Poland has been confirmed by the European Network of Transmission System Operators.

Austria's Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) confirmed on Wednesday morning that gas supplies were flowing as normal to Austria and were unaffected by the action in Poland. Austria uses different supply routes (via Nord Stream and Ukraine) to Bulgaria and Poland.

READ MORE: ‘An unprecedented situation’: How would a gas embargo impact Austria?

When asked in the Ö1 Morning Journal if there were any signs of a delivery stop for Austria, Gewessler said: "No, we do not have these signs."

However, she expressed concerns about Austria relying on Russia for energy supplies and said: "We must do everything we can to end our dependence on Russian gas as quickly as possible."

Austria is heavily dependent on Russian energy and sources around 80 percent of natural gas from Russia but a recent study by the Energy Agency shows that Austria could manage without Russian gas from 2027.

According to the study, which was commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment, it would require gas consumption to the reduced by 25 percent, a temporary tripling of alternative gas imports and the expansion of biogas and green hydrogen production in Austria.

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