European Union leaders, citing risks from “the Kremlin’s weaponization of gas exports,” today proposed plans for the bloc to curb gas consumption until spring, Ben reports.

Why it matters: The move reflects growing concern that Russia, the EU’s top supplier, could cut exports of the key industrial, electric and residential fuel well beyond already reduced levels.

Driving the news: The plan calls for member states to voluntarily cut demand by 15% from August until the end of next March.

  • The proposed regulation would give EU officials the power to impose mandatory curbs.
  • The European Commission vowed to “accelerate work on supply diversification, including joint purchasing of gas to strengthen the EU’s possibility of sourcing alternative gas deliveries.”

The bottom line: “If the bloc’s 27 member countries agree to adopt the plan and the new legislation that goes with it, it would solidify the sense that Europe’s economy is on war footing because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the NYT reports.

Catch up fast: Russian President Vladimir Putin, per multiple reports, said in Iran late Tuesday that the key Nord Stream pipeline would be re-started Thursday after maintenance.

But he “warned that flows…could be curbed soon if sanctions prevent additional maintenance on its components,” the WSJ reports.

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