The European authorities are preparing for a full shutdown of Russian gas supplies. Despite the Kremlin's repeated statements that the sale of natural gas is purely related to business, Europe realizes that Moscow may go ahead with a complete cutoff of gas supplies to the region without complying with its contractual obligations.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has warned that Europe must prepare for the worst scenario with regard to Russian gas supplies, appealing to her colleagues to be proactive. “We have to prepare for a potential full disruption of Russian gas. And this is a likely scenario,” the head of the European Commission said, adding that it would have a severe impact on all EU countries.
Earlier, experts from the International Monetary Fund assessed potential damage to the European economy in the event of a halt of Russian natural gas supplies. In such a scenario, the bloc’s economy could shrink by 2.65% by the end of 2022, estimates showed. Europe is worried about a shutoff in energy supplies for a reason. Moscow may well retaliate against Western sanctions. Gazprom periodically shuts down the supply of natural gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to carry out scheduled maintenance. Perhaps, someday gas flows will not resume.