Fatih Birol, head of the IEA agency, believes that Europe needs a plan in case of extreme circumstances.

Russia may completely stop supplying gas to Europe as it seeks to strengthen its political influence in the context of the Ukrainian crisis, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Fatih Birol said on Wednesday.

In his opinion, Europe should prepare for such a development of events today.

“I would not rule out that Russia will continue to find various problems here and there, and will continue to find excuses for further reducing gas supplies to Europe and, perhaps, even (for) their complete cessation,” the executive director of the IEA told Reuters.

“Therefore, Europe needs to develop a contingency plan,” he stressed.

According to Birol, the recent reduction in gas flows from Russia should be seen as an attempt to strengthen Moscow’s political influence.

Thus, Russia has demonstrated in advance a scenario that can be implemented in the winter months, when the demand for gas increases significantly.

At the same time, Birol noted that the International Energy Agency (IEA) does not consider this hypothetical scenario of a complete shutdown of Russian gas as the most likely.

Recall that the European Union imposed sanctions against Russian oil and coal, but refrained from banning gas imports, partly because of Europe’s dependence on supplies from Moscow.

As for total energy investments for 2022, the IEA said in its report that $2.4 trillion will be invested in this sector this year, including record spending on renewable energy sources.

However, according to Birol, this is not enough to close the supply gap and solve the problems associated with climate change.

“Today’s spending on oil and gas is the result of a compromise between two views on the future: they are too high for the path associated with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but insufficient to meet the growing demand – in a scenario in which governments adhere to today’s political attitudes and fail to fulfill their obligations related to curbing climate change,” the IEA said.