The EU economy will fall into recession if gas supplies from Russia are stopped in the near future, Paolo Gentiloni, member of the European Commission for Economics, said at a press conference.
„In our spring forecast, we presented the results of (…) a simulation of a complete halt in gas imports from Russia, with limited substitution opportunities in the short term. Such a serious scenario will lead the EU economy into recession in the second half of this year,” he said.
Such a scenario would contribute to „a further decline in economic activity” in 2023, he said.
In light of recent events, the risk of a cut in gas supplies „has become something more significant than just a hypothetical scenario,” the official said.
On July 13, Bloomberg, citing a draft EU document, reported that the European Union is developing a series of urgent economic measures , including reducing the use of heating systems, to mitigate the consequences of a possible, according to the bloc, cessation of gas supplies from Russia. It follows from the project that the EC sees a significant risk that Moscow will abruptly and unilaterally stop fuel supplies in 2022.
It is noted that the content of the document may be changed before its adoption, scheduled for July 20.
„Taking action now could reduce the impact of a sudden supply disruption by a third,” the agency quoted excerpts from the European Commission’s draft document. It emphasizes that joint EU measures taken in advance „will reduce the need for a possible and more painful reduction in demand in the winter.”
The draft also states that Russian gas supplies to the EU are now less than 30% of the average from 2016 to 2021. The reduction in gas supplies from Russia affected 12 EU member states.