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Italy to be almost independent of Russian gas by 2023: minister

The country is working on short- and long-term plans to slash the amoun of natural gas imported from Russia

Italy to be almost independent of Russian gas by 2023: minister

Rome, April 22 - Neftegaz.RU. Italy «could start being almost totally independent» of Russian gas imports by the 2nd half of 2023, said Italian Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani, Xinhua news agency reported.

Cingolani's office confirmed the minister's remarks in the Italian newspaper La Stampa, when contacted by Xinhua.
That would be a rapid change for Italy, which imported more than 40 % of its gas supply from Russia before the Ukraine crisis.

Along with other European Union countries, Italy issued widespread sanctions against Russia for its military operation in Ukraine.
But the sanctions regime does not include gas imports.

In his remarks, Cingolani said the government would dramatically reduce gas imports from Russia by maximizing imports from existing suppliers, signing new gas deals, and increasing the country's capacity for regasification, a process that converts LNG back into its usable gaseous form.

In recent weeks, Italy has signed a gas supply deal with Algeria and penned smaller gas deals with Egypt, the Republic of the Congo and Angola.
The government in Rome is rumoured to be trying to diversify gas sources even further by making new deals with Qatar, Azerbaijan and Mozambique too.

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