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Denmark declares 'early warning' over gas supply

AFP
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Denmark declares 'early warning' over gas supply
A file photo showing the construction of a gas pipe in Denmark. The country has moved to the lowest level alert over its gas supply. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark's energy agency declared a first level "early warning" alert over worries of its gas supply, due to uncertainty on energy imports from Russia because of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

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The European Union has established a system to allow member states to flag up impending energy supply difficulties using three ascending levels of alerts -- beginning with "early warning", followed by "alert", then "emergency". 

The system allows for mutual assistance from other EU countries, but could also mean a start to rationing supplies.

On Monday, the deputy director of the Danish Energy Agency, Martin Hansen, issued the first level warning.

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"This is a serious situation we are facing and it has been exacerbated by the reduction in supplies," Hansen said in a statement. 

Currently Denmark's gas stocks are about 75 percent full, "and gas has been added in recent days", the agency said in a statement. 

The declaration comes after Danish energy company Ørsted announced at the end of May that delivery of Russian gas to the Scandinavian country would be suspended from June 1st, after Ørsted refused to settle the payment in rubles. 

Gas represents 18 percent of the energy consumed each year in Denmark. Domestic production accounted for three-quarters of the gas consumed in 2019. 

Russia is one of the main sources of natural gas imports, according to the Danish Energy Agency. 

The Netherlands also announced Monday it will lift restrictions on coal-fired power generation, a day after Germany and Austria took similar steps to alleviate their reliance on Russian gas supplies.

READ ALSO: Gas flow to Denmark continues after Russia cuts supply

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