Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is trying to fulfill his commitment to the country’s independence from Russian energy supply. During his visit to Algiers, he agreed to increase gas exports to Italy: from 20 billion cubic meters of gas in 2021, Italian imports will reach 30 billion. An additional 30% of the gas will reach the rest immediately in 2023, via the Transmed pipeline, which connects the Algerian coast with Mazzara del Valo in Sicily.
Algeria has so far supplied Italy with 20% of its gas imports, while Russia supplied 40%. The strategy of the Italian government is clear, but there is now a relative realism. Initially, the Minister of Ecological Transition, Roberto Tsingolani, had stated that by the end of 2022, his country could be “independent” of Moscow’s natural gas. Now the forecasts have changed and there is talk of a three-year horizon.
And other candidates in the African market
Draghi himself made it clear that this initial phase is relatively easy, but when about a third of Russia’s supplies are replaced, the whole process will begin to slow down. In Africa, Italy is always preparing to sign new, formal agreements for imports from the Congo, Angola and Mozambique.
Meanwhile, setting a maximum price for gas imports by the EU remains a top priority for the government of Rome. This position is strongly supported by both the Italian technocrat Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, aiming for a “realistic and unbiased dialogue” with the countries of northern Europe that have different views. At the same time, finally, the Italian industrialists, through their president Carlo Bonomi, insist: “If in Brussels, despite all efforts, they fail to take this necessary decision, we, as Italy, should set a ceiling for the cost of gas “.
Theodoros Andreadis-Siggelakis, Rome
Source: Deutsche Welle
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