Press TV, Rome
As the Russian-Ukrainian conflict gets more bellicose by the day, European countries are trying to find ways to free themselves from Russian gas dependency.
Italy has been importing gas from Russia for over 50 years. Its gas imports from Moscow currently stands at about 40% of its total demand.
However, Energy Minister Roberto Cingolani said on Tuesday that Rome can cope without Russian gas should President Vladimir Putin decide to halt supplies in retaliation to sanctions and arms sales to Ukraine.
Italy ponders over a new energy strategy which includes building one or two liquefied natural gas terminals, increasing its regasification capacity and being less dependent on gas pipelines. The Italian government believes it may take 24 to 30 months to achieve its ends.
This as the European Union has rolled out plans to considerably cut its import of Russian gas in 2022, EU published plans on Tuesday to slash Russian gas dependency by two-thirds by the end of this year.
The bloc imported 155 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia last year which equals to almost half of its gas imports.
The EU intends to create its own energy resources by accelerating the rollout of renewable energy, biofuels and hydrogen. However, for the time being and the immediate future, Brussels will have to find new sources of gas and commit to lowering energy consumption by cutting energy use.
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