Germany and Austria deepen cooperation to reduce dependence on Russian energy
Clean Energy Wire
Climate ministers Robert Habeck and Leonore Gewessler of Germany and Austria, respectively, said European solidarity is “more important than ever” amid the ongoing gas crisis in Europe, which has been exacerbated by Russia’s war against Ukraine. The two signed a joint declaration on promoting closer cooperation in Vienna. The two governments already signed an agreement on solidarity-based gas supplies in December 2021. However, the updated declaration will further deepen their cooperation. Under the new agreement, Austrian companies are encouraged to participate in building up and using Germany’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure as Austria cannot build its own being a land-locked country. Austria and Germany will also conclude a new agreement on filling the 7 Fields and Haidach gas storage units in Austria as quickly as possible in order to secure future supplies for both countries.
The two ministers signed the declaration during Habeck’s trip to Prague and Vienna, which was dominated by talks about gas supply security. As of July 2022, Russia has partly or completely cut gas deliveries to several European countries, forcing the EU to seek supplies from other sources. Germany is also currently facing uncertainty surrounding imports of Russian gas through the Nord Stream pipeline, as the government worries supplies could be cut as a political move.