‘Energy battle’ between Europe and Russia not over, says global watchdog
(The Guardian, 23 Feb 2023) International Energy Agency says efforts to replace Russian gas successful but warns against overconfidence.
The head of the International Energy Agency has warned that the “energy battle” between Europe and Russia is not over, despite a sharp drop in wholesale gas prices that has eased concerns over high bills and blackouts.
Fatih Birol said Europe’s efforts to replace Russian gas supplies this winter had been a “big success” but cautioned there were lingering fears over next winter.
Vladimir Putin moved to weaponise Russian gas last year in the face of western support for Ukraine, cutting supplies into Europe and leaving countries scrambling to replace supplies for the winter.
European nations moved quickly last autumn to fill up gas storage facilities and supplies have not been depleted at the rate expected over winter thanks to periods of mild weather and efforts by businesses and households to cut back on energy usage.