Italy says goodbye to Russian gas

It has become a matter of ethics for Mario Draghi’s government to cut off Russian gas supplies as soon as possible. Is. But for the peninsula, which is 95% dependent on its imports, 43.3% of which come from Russia, breaking the cycle of energy submission is no easy feat. Especially since the government wants to get out of Moscow within 18 months.

The Italian government is willing to do anything to achieve this darn ambitious goal. Temporarily cover up even embarrassing questions. This is the case of Egypt, where diplomatic relations between the two countries are still poisoned by the case of Giulio Regeni, a young Italian researcher kidnapped by unknown persons in January 2016 and whose body was found tortured and mutilated a few days later suburbs of Cairo. According to the conclusions of an Italian parliamentary commission published at the end of 2021, the Egyptian security services are said to be responsible for this assassination. This is disputed by local authorities, who refuse to cooperate with the Italian investigators.

But by the looks of it, sourcing Russian gas is more important than anything else, justifying the signing of an agreement in mid-April between Italian energy giant Eni and state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company to supply three billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas by the end of the year year.

Wide diversification of supplies

In the process, Italy also knocked on the door of the Algerian government, the peninsula’s second largest supplier after Russia, which in 2020 covered around 28.4% of its annual natural gas needs (22 bcm). The agreement provides for an increase in Algerian gas supplies by around 9 bcm per year from 2024 via the Transmed gas pipeline connecting the two countries. Talks are also underway with Congo, Angola and Mozambique.

Finally, Mario Draghi has sounded out Sheikh Tamim ben Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar and the peninsula’s third purveyor, asking the Italians to join the joint effort by increasing the heating by one degree next winter and the air conditioning this summer reduce. This measure would save the country four billion cubic meters of gas per year, about 14% of the gas imported from Russia. Which is not a little.

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