E.U. agrees to cut gas consumption
The E.U. agreed to a deal to curb natural gas consumption starting next week, the latest show of solidarity in its efforts to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
The cuts, which aim for savings of up to 15 percent by the spring, are meant to blunt Russia’s ability to use its energy sources as a political weapon. For now, the reductions will be voluntary, but they could become binding should an energy supply crunch cause an emergency.
Twenty-six of the 27 E.U. states agreed to the deal, diplomats involved in the process said, with the only holdout being Hungary, which had been slow to agree to sanctions before.
The agreement came less than 24 hours after Russia’s state-owned gas monopoly, Gazprom, said that it would further reduce the amount of natural gas it sends to Germany, Europe’s biggest consumer of Russian gas.
Meanwhile, Brittney Griner, the W.N.B.A. star who has been detained in Russia since February, appeared in a court near Moscow as her lawyers argued that she had not intended to break the law. However, a ship carrying grain will depart a Ukrainian port in the coming days — the first since the signing of a deal to allow a resumption of Ukraine’s grain exports. Interestingly, in space, Russia announced that it will leave the International Space Station after its current commitment expires at the end of 2024, ending two decades of post-Cold War cooperation.