Europe agrees compromise gas curbs

STORY: Europe faces an increased gas squeeze from Wednesday, when Russian's Gazprom GAZP.MM has said it would cut flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany to a fifth of capacity.

"Today we are sending a strong signal, not only to (Russian President) Vladimir Putin, who once again failed to divide the European Union, but most importantly to our citizens," Czech Trade and Industry Minisiter Jozef Sikela told a news conference.

"Today's decision ensures we will not have to face dramatic consequences in winter including gas scarcity or price spikes."

With a dozen EU countries already facing reduced Russian supplies, Brussels is urging member states to save gas and store it for winter for fear Russia will completely cut off flows in retaliation for Western sanctions over its war with Ukraine.

Energy ministers approved a proposal for all EU countries to voluntarily cut gas use by 15% from August to March.

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