There are different assessments about the impact of a Russian gas cut to Czechia, but with the country receiving nearly all of its gas from Russia, the results could be dire.
“When someone says to shut down the valves with Russian gas, they have no idea what they are talking about. I do not wish a return to Middle Ages unto anyone,” said former Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek,
According to Topolánek, the Czech Republic could not quickly make up for the Russian gas. Czechia is 98 percent dependent on Russian gas, compared to just 31 percent for Poland. The consequences of Russia stopping the deliveries would thus be destructive for both households and businesses. In Topolánek’s view, Czechia could not depend on Germany or countries in south-eastern Europe either, as those would have to cover their needs first.
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The current prime minister of Czechia, Peter Fiala, offers a slightly more sanguine outlook, saying yesterday that if Russia ceased its gas supplies to the Czech Republic, the country would manage the situation for some time but would then need help from the European Union ,according to Czech news outlet Idnes.
“We can deal with this for some time by combining reserves and other suppliers. But in the long run, we must look for different solutions,” said Fiala.
Fiala mentioned alternative sources of gas, alternative suppliers, liquefied gas, and LNG terminals as possible contingencies to mitigate the impact any cut-off from Russia gas would cause. The United States has promised to increase deliveries of LNG both this year and next, however, such LNG is costly and difficult to transport.
So far, the Czech government has had no information or signal that Russia could cut Czechia off gas deliveries, as happened to Poland and Bulgaria earlier this week.
“We are taking steps that should provide the citizens of the Czech Republic with sufficient energy from all possible sources if Russia continues with its actions,” assured Fiala in the Chamber of Deputies.
Fiala said he views Russia as an unreliable supplier of energy which makes finding alternatives a necessity for Czechia and the whole European Union. The prime minister also criticized previous administrations for not doing enough to achieve better energy security for the country.