“Gazprom has announced that it will deliver only 50 percent of what is requested (with actual volumes delivered virtually unchanged from yesterday’s deliveries),” Eni said in a statement.
Several European countries, including Italy and Germanyare highly dependent on Russian gas for their energy needs.
As tensions with the West rage over the war in Ukraine, Russia has stepped up energy pressure and cut gas supplies to the continent in a move labeled “political” by both Italy and Germany.
Gazprom said the reduction in supplies through the Nord Stream pipeline is the result of repair work, but EU officials believe Moscow is punishing allies of Ukraine, where Russian forces launched an invasion in February.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Thursday rejected Gazprom’s apology, saying the reasons “we’re told, are technical”.
“We and Germany and others believe that these are lies.”
Draghi said the state-owned company Gazprom — which has said Moscow has every right to play by its own rules about austerity — used the gas supply for “political” purposes.
Italy has tried to reduce its dependence on Russian gas through alternative sources, while also pledging to invest more in renewable energy sources.
The gas squeeze, which is pushing up prices, “will not directly affect consumption, but supplies,” Draghi said.
EU countries have made efforts to get rid of Russian energy but are divided over the imposition of a natural gas embargo as several member states rely heavily on Moscow’s supplies.