Russian gas cutoff could impact French economy: Finance minister

By Anadolu Agency

French Finance and Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire warned Tuesday that a complete cutoff of Russian gas exports to France combined with a difficult winter could impact the country’s economy.

“We have to anticipate the possibility of a complete cutoff of Russian gas exports to France…We have to prepare a scenario in which we would have a particularly harsh winter,” he said, speaking to the media in Paris on the sidelines of a meeting with French entrepreneurs, according to BFMTV news.

He added that these factors would determine the “rationing of energy for businesses,” but this would be the last resort, as he was determined to “not add an economic crisis to the energy crisis.”

His statement followed French energy company Engie’s announcement earlier in the day that Russian energy company Gazprom will reduce gas deliveries due to a “disagreement between the parties on the application of contracts.”

Engie said it has already secured gas supplies for France and undertaken measures to significantly reduce impacts from the interruption of gas deliveries by Gazprom.

“Each of us must understand that it will be necessary to reduce our energy consumption at home, in transport, in businesses, in administrations, and in shops,” said Le Maire.

To deal with the energy crisis, the government will hold a Defense Council meeting Friday to be chaired by President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the supply of gas and electricity to France.