The EU capable of replacing half of Russian gas imports in the short term, according to the president of Engie

“The rest, in the very short term, should be compensated by a reduction in consumption, particularly in the industrial sectors”, estimates Jean-Pierre Clamadieu.

The Europeans are under pressure to decree an embargo on Russian gas, after the massacre committed by the Russian army in Boutcha, in the north of Ukraine. There is also the question of the potential impact of this measure on the EU economy. “What European leaders are being told is that if Russian gas imports stopped, we would probably be able to replace about half of it.“said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, chairman of the board of directors of Engie, interviewed on Radio Classique on Thursday April 7. Before the war, the European Union imported 40% of its gas from Russia.

But the rest, in the very short term, should be offset by a reduction in consumption, particularly in the industrial sectors.“Said the leader of the French natural gas giant. “Most of the effort and adjustment will be made in the industrial sector“, he repeated, pointing out that the latter represented 25% of gas consumption.

SEE ALSO – War in Ukraine: Germany finds it impossible to cut off Russian gas supply “for the moment”

“Very significant” impact on the European economy

Thus, in such a scenario, Jean-Pierre Clamadieu expects an impact “very significanton the European economy,not in the next few months but next winter“. “There will be no immediate impact. We arrive in the summer season in terms of gas, that is to say the one in which we receive more gas than we consume and therefore we store it“, he explained. Today, “the whole challenge is to be able to replenish our storage to get through the next winter with the least possible impact“, he specified.

For the time being, the hypothesis of an EU embargo on Russian gas “is not yet (…) on the tablesaid Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Wednesday. In contrast, the European Commission has proposed banning Russian coal from the EU. “I think that measures on oil and even gas will be needed sooner or later »threatened the President of the European Council Charles Michel on Wednesday, while Germany, particularly dependent on Russian gas, said it could not do without these deliveries “short term“. A new salvo of European sanctions, the fifth, is expected in the coming hours.

SEE ALSO – Hungary ready to pay for Russian gas in rubles, assures Viktor Orban