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March 14, 2022updated 23 Mar 2022 12:21pm

Italy seeks more gas from Angola and the Congo to cut dependence on Russia

Italy imports over 90% of its gas from Russia, which is facing Western sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine.

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Italy is planning to purchase additional gas from Angola and the Congo Republic in a bid to reduce its dependence on Russia amid the Ukraine crisis, Reuters quoted Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio as saying.

The latest move comes as the country seeks alternative gas sources from countries including Algeria and Qatar to meet its demand.

Di Maio was cited by the news agency as saying, to state-owned television RAI, in an interview: “Algeria, Qatar, Congo, and Angola have given their availability to increase the quantities of gas.

“In two months, we will be able to halve Italy’s dependence on Russian gas, and in winter we will be able to do even better. We will no longer be dependent on Russia.”

Italy imports over 90% of its gas from Russia, which has been hit with sanctions, following its invasion of Ukraine.

In a separate development, Russia has urged India to increase investments in its oil and gas sector, reported Reuters.

The investment would help Russia, which is facing an economic crisis due to Western sanctions, in expanding the sales networks for its energy companies, in India.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak was cited by news agency as saying, in a statement shared by Russia’s embassy in India: “Russia’s oil and petroleum product exports to India have approached $1bn, and there are clear opportunities to increase this figure.”

Novak told Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri: “We are interested in further attracting Indian investment to the Russian oil and gas sector, and expanding Russian companies’ sales networks in India.”

Indian state-run companies currently own stakes in Russian oil and gas fields. Russian entities, including Rosneft, hold majority stakes in the Indian refiner Nayara Energy.

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