Poland and Hungary have refused to back an EU plan to cut gas consumption by 15%, Reuters reported on Saturday, citing a document released by the Czech Republic, which currently chairs negotiations in the bloc.
Last week, EU countries agreed on a plan to reduce gas consumption in order to fill storages, fearing a possible cut in Russian supplies. The EU Council approved the plan on Friday. However, according to Reuters, the vote of approval only needed a simple majority – meaning the support of 15 of the bloc’s 28 members – to pass.
Hungary, which is currently in talks to get more gas supplies from Russia, had opposed the project from the start. According to the document seen by Reuters, Budapest questioned the legality of the plan, saying it would affect the country’s energy security.
Poland, meanwhile, initially agreed to cut consumption but voted against the plan on Friday, the agency reports. Warsaw called the legal basis of the document “defectiveand said that decisions affecting the energy mix of EU countries should be taken with the unanimous approval of all member states.
EU confirms gas rationing plan
The newly adopted rationing plan is not binding unless the Council of the EU triggers a “Union alert” on the security of gas supply. It also includes a number of exemptions. In particular, Member States which are not connected to the gas networks of other EU countries are exempted from this obligation. In addition, members can request a relaxation of conditions if they have exceeded their storage capacity targets or if their strategically important industries are highly dependent on gas.
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