The inevitable blackouts in the EU – Austria – RT World News

It’s not a question of ‘if’, but of ‘when’ parts of the bloc go dark, says Vienna’s defense minister

The European Union is unlikely to avoid power cuts in the context of an energy crisis exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine and should prepare for its impact, Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner warned on Tuesday.

Speaking to Die Welt, the minister assessed the possibility of blackouts in parts of the EU as « very high » in the near future. « The risk of a widespread power outage has again increased significantly as a result of the war in Ukraine, » she said.

“The question is not if it happens, but when,” stressed the minister.

Tanner also claimed, without providing evidence, that for Russian President Vladimir Putin « pirate attacks » on the Western energy grid are a form of « hybrid war ».

“We shouldn’t pretend this is just a theory. We have to prepare for power outages in Austria and Europe,” said the minister.

According to Tanner, the Austrian army as well as other government departments regularly organize relevant exercises. They also raise awareness through a campaign to distribute small brochures in public places on what to do in the event of a power failure.

When asked if such a measure could trigger « panic, » the minister dismissed the idea. “I know there’s a fine line between raising awareness with a sense of proportion and stoking fears. But I think we’ve done pretty well so far. she said.

The specter of power outages has haunted European countries for several months as the continent reels from an energy crisis compounded by soaring fuel prices due to Western sanctions imposed on Russia in the framework of the Ukrainian conflict.

Earlier this month, German media reported that Switzerland was considering a move to limit the use of electric vehicles to save energy.

Around the same time, Xavier Piechaczyk, the head of France’s energy regulator RTE, warned that the country could face blackouts due to low temperatures and high energy demand. The risk could also be exacerbated by extended maintenance shutdowns for several nuclear reactors, Bloomberg reported last week.

In late November, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova insisted that EU policymakers had only themselves to blame for their current energy crisis.

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