Europe’s Winter of Chaos: Russia Cuts Gas Supply to France as PM Warns of Future Energy Rationing

France's Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne delivers a speech during the Medef summer conferen
ERIC PIERMONT/AFP via Getty Images

Russia has reduced the amount of gas it is sending to a major energy company in France, the Prime Minister of which has already warned that energy rationing over the winter is now on the cards.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia has once again cut down on the amount of gas it is sending to a European state, this time targeting France with the reduction in its much relied upon energy exports on Tuesday.

The action follows a warning from the French Prime Minister that the central European state could be forced to ration the use of energy over the winter months, while begging industry in the state to do all they can to reduce their own usage.

According to a report by Le Figaro, Russian state gas company Gazprom announced that it was reducing the amount of gas it is sending to French energy company Engie with immediate effect.

Engie has said that the sudden reduction in supply was allegedly down to what it called a “disagreement between the parties on the application of contracts” for the reduction.

However, the firm also claimed that it had already taken steps to ensure that its customers would be protected from such a reduction.

“…ENGIE had already secured the volumes necessary to ensure the supply of its customers and for its own needs, and implemented a series of measures to significantly reduce the direct financial and physical impacts that could result from interruption of gas deliveries by Gazprom,” a press release from the company read.

While Engie itself appears confident that the reduction in gas will not negatively affect its customers, members of the French government appear less convinced that the sudden exit of Russian fossil fuel exports from the EU will not have a knock-on effect on the state’s energy security.

French President Emmanuel Macron had already warned last week that his nation was facing what he termed the “end of abundance”, warning the public that they need to “agree to pay the price” of what he termed “our freedom and our values” by enduring the hardships of a sudden drop in living standards.

Macron’s comments were echoed on Monday by the country’s Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, who has warned that the state could soon be forced to start rationing energy over the winter months.

Borne gave the warning while speaking to French business leaders, whom she begged to do everything they can to reduce their own power usage so as to possibly avoid the need for the country’s government to limit the use of energy.

“If we act collectively, we can overcome the risk of shortages,” she said. “But if each one of us fails to do our part, or if all negative outlooks come to fruition at once, we will have to impose a decrease in consumption.”

“If we end up with rationing, companies will be the first hit and unfortunately we need to be prepared for it,” she went on to say, while also requesting that companies appoint what she termed an “energy sobriety ambassador” to help cut usage.

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