Romania will have enough gas and cereals for consumption, says prime minister Nicolae Ciucă

Oil is about money, gas is about geopolitics, an energy expert noted recently referring to Russia’s actions in its open diplomatic, economic, and essentially ideological conflict with the West. Moscow has reopened one of the pipelines delivering natural gas to Europe, but Europe has understood that it can no longer rely on Russian gas and that for the majority of European states, this isn’t even ethical in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

This is why the European Union has been trying to diversify its supply sources while trying to convince member states to use resources sensibly and to save energy for the next winter. The prospect of reducing their gas consumption has reawakened painful memories for the Romanians who experienced the nightmare of the final years of the communist dictatorship and when they were shivering with cold in their homes in winter. This is probably why the politicians in power are treating this subject with optimism, an approach that is, nevertheless backed by figures.

Prime minister Nicolae Ciucă said there are no fears at the moment that Romania may run out of natural gas next winter. More than 1.6 billion cubic metres are already in stock, with initial plans being to reach 80% of storing capacity  by November 1st, the prime minister said:

„The plan was to reach 46% of storing capacity by 1st August, 57% by 1st September, 66% by 1 October and 80% by 1st November. Looking at the figures, we are exceeding the level committed to and at the end of last week our stocks had 200 million cubic metres more than we had in the same period last year. So there are no fears at the moment that Romania may not have the needed gas in the 2022-2023 winter.”

The reduction of consumption, as requested by the European Union, is a precautionary measure, says the prime minister. However, the prolonged drought has caused another major challenge, one that the government must address: what happens with the cereal crops. The prime minister said there is enough wheat to supply domestic demand and even to export. There is also no reason for concern with respect to the corn and sunflower crops, he added:

„The autumn crops are being harvested and looking at the figures I’ve received it’s very clear that we have enough wheat for domestic consumption, for seed planting and even to export. We shouldn’t worry about the corn and sunflower crops, either, as figures are again showing that there are enough quantities to ensure the needed demand.”

„It’s the duty of each government to ensure food, heating and energy during winter for its citizens and that’s exactly what we’re doing, prime minister Ciucă has promised.

Ştefan Stoica, Radio Romania International