Russia has decided to leave the International Space Station after 2024. The newly appointed head of Moscow’s space agency gave this information to President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. “Of course, we will fulfill all our obligations to our partners, but it has been decided to leave this station after 2024,” said a statement issued by the Kremlin.
On the other hand, in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, Europe has started moving rapidly toward Russia’s alternative gas supply. European Union governments agreed on Tuesday to ration natural gas this winter to deal with further supply cuts by Russia. EU energy ministers approved a draft European law to reduce gas demand by 15% from August to March.
The new law entails voluntary national steps to reduce gas consumption and if they achieve insufficient savings, mandatory steps will be taken in the 27-member bloc. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the move, saying the EU has taken a decisive step to counter the threat of gas disruption by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On Monday Russian energy giant Gazprom said it would limit supplies to the European Union via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 20% of capacity. Raising concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would use the gas trade to challenge Europe’s opposition to the Ukraine war.
The EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, is pressuring ministers to reach an agreement less than a week after preparing a gas rationing proposal. European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said that we have to be prepared for a possible cut in supply from Russia at any time. We have to work now.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February and the West resisted economic sanctions, 12 EU countries have faced interruptions or cuts to Russian gas deliveries. However, the union has agreed to restrict oil and coal from Russia later this year. However, the European Union has refrained from imposing sanctions on Russian natural gas because Germany, Italy, and some other member states are heavily dependent on these imports.