Cyprus Mail

Cyprus hit by Gazprom turning off tap despite non-reliance on Russian gas, says Panayides

illustration shows natural gas pipes and gazprom logo
Bulgaria's interim energy minister said it was "inevitable" that the Balkan country would discuss resuming gas deliveries with Russia's Gazprom GAZP.MM that were halted in April

The energy situation in the European Union as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the next steps after the suspension by Gazprom of supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, were discussed on Monday by the EU energy ministers at an extraordinary meeting of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council.

Permanent secretary of the ministry of energy, Marios Panayides, who represented Cyprus, explained that despite the fact that Cyprus is the member state with the least dependence on natural gas from Russia, it is nonetheless affected due to the significant increases in prices in general.

Cyprus, he said, supports the measures promoted by the EU for its energy security, including the proposal to regulate storage of natural gas and the EU platform for Common Procurement.

According to a statement from the ministry of energy, member states expressed full solidarity and readiness to assist affected partners, while exchanging views on securing supply from reliable suppliers, and transit of natural gas reserves especially in preparation for the upcoming winter.

There was also a discussion on the EU level of preparedness, solidarity measures and possible emergency measures in relation to the state of the EU’s energy supply.

In the context of utilising the energy reserves of member states Panayides also spoke about the natural gas reserves of Cyprus, referring to efforts to establish synergies with Greece, Israel and Egypt for the exploitation of the Eastern Mediterranean deposits, something that he said could contribute to the EU’s effort to break away from reliance on Russian gas.

Panayides also said Cyprus supports green transition measures, which, however, must take into account the different starting points and be fair to all member states.

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