Ukraine crisis EXCLUSIVE: US and Europe planning to ‘cut off’ Russia’s gas supply

Exclusive: G7 leaders are expected to sign off on an 'emergency response plan' to assist Ukraine this winter if its neighbour restricts gas supplies

Whitehall Editor

Britain is drawing up plans with the US and other European countries to “disarm” the threat of President Vladimir Putin using Russian gas and oil supplies as “a weapon” against Ukraine and its Eastern European neighbours.

Next month, David Cameron and other G7 leaders are expected to sign off on an “emergency response plan” to assist Ukraine this winter if Russia restricts gas supplies.

At the same time, G7 energy ministers this week agreed a plan to eliminate Europe’s reliance on Russian oil and gas over the longer term and prevent energy security being used as political bargaining chip by the Kremlin.

Russia currently supplies around 30 per cent of all gas consumed within Europe and more than 50 per cent of the gas used by Ukraine.

In 2006, when the Russian state-controlled energy producer Gazprom turned off supplies through its Ukrainian pipeline Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Poland reported gas pressure in their pipelines fell by 30 per cent.

 

While only a small fraction of gas used by the UK comes from Russia, any restriction in supply has a dramatic impact on prices.

Under the G7 proposals, support would be given to build several new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals across Europe, while the US would lift restrictions on the export of shale gas.

At the same time, the EU will invest in new pipelines to move gas from West to East and increase supply routes from North Africa.

Japan is also understood to be prepared to re-start some of its nuclear plants that were mothballed in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Japan is now one of the largest importers of LNG, which has pushed up prices to record levels.

Senior Government sources said the ongoing crisis had “concentrated minds”, particularly in Europe, over the energy threat and said there was for the first time a “clear consensus” to take action.  

Next month, David Cameron and other G7 leaders are expected to sign off on an “emergency response plan” to assist Ukraine this winter if Russia restricts gas supplies Next month, David Cameron and other G7 leaders are expected to sign off on an “emergency response plan” to assist Ukraine this winter if Russia restricts gas supplies (Getty Images) “The diversification of sources and routes for fossil fuels is essential,” the G7 communique stated.

“No country should depend totally on one supplier. Nor should energy be used as a means of political coercion or a threat to security.” 

Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary who represented Britain at the G7 talks in Rome, told The Independent that unless action was taken now Russia would “undoubtedly continue to use energy as a weapon”.

“It is completely unacceptable for President Putin to use Russia’s gas and oil supplies as a weapon to exert control and power over Ukraine – or any other country,” he said.

“But this is not the first time he has done this, so we have to take a stand this time, or he will undoubtedly continue to use energy as a weapon.”

Mr Davey said that the G7 had agreed a process that, over the longer term, would “disarm the threat”. But he added that in the short term there would be a plan in place within the next few weeks to support Ukraine’s energy needs this winter if there is a Russia switch-off of gas.

“We will be drawing up an emergency winter response if Russia threatens its gas supplies, which will be discussed again at the G7 Heads of State meeting next month.”

A Downing Street source confirmed that Mr Cameron “fully backed” the strategy, adding that it was possible that the G7 leader summit in Brussels could “go further”.

“We will be examining the full range of options available,” they added.

News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
Life and Style
fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Service Desk Analyst (Graduate, Helpdesk, Desktop, Surrey)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Graduate, Helpdesk, Deskto...

Service Desk Analyst (Graduate, Helpdesk, Desktop, Surrey)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Graduate, Helpdesk, Deskto...

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape