Austria prepares to cut Russian gas dependency
Austria on Wednesday presented an emergency plan to reduce its reliance on Russian gas over potential supply cuts from Moscow as tensions soar over the war in Ukraine.
Under the plan, the country aims to reduce the share of gas it consumes from Russia from 80 to 70 per cent of the total.
"The measures will strongly reduce our dependence on Russian gas," Energy and Climate Action Minister Leonore Gewessler told reporters.
For the first time, the government will build a strategic reserve with non-Russian gas accessible to all industries, which would cover total consumption for two months in the winter.
It will also bar storage facilities from remaining empty.
Storage facilities of Russian energy giant Gazprom in Haidach, near Salzburg, are empty.
Gewessler said it was "no longer acceptable" for Gazprom's subsidiary, GSA, to not stock up.
Other suppliers will have access to the facilities "if Gazprom does nothing", Gewessler added. "It is absolutely justified."