France is considering suspending electricity exports to Italy

A spokeswoman for Italy’s energy ministry said on Saturday that Italy was already working on plans to offset any supply cuts after receiving a written message from French power company EDF about a possible halt to exports.

She thus confirmed an earlier report by the newspaper La Repubblica. However, an EDF spokesman denied this report, saying that the company had not sent any letter to the Italian authorities. The French finance ministry declined to comment.

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The output of EDF’s nuclear plants is expected to fall to its lowest level in more than three decades due to maintenance problems, turning France from a traditional net exporter of electricity into a net importer. The decline in electricity production in France is deepening the energy crisis in Europe, which is responsible for limiting gas supplies from Russia, writes Bloomberg.

Energy problems are a test of solidarity between member countries of the European Union. The possible interruption of French electricity supplies to Italy suggests that national interests could prevail if the energy crisis deepens, Bloomberg warns.

The situation surrounding Russian gas supplies became more complicated when Russia launched an attack on Ukraine in February and the European Union enacted a series of anti-Russian sanctions in retaliation. Russia justifies the restriction of gas supplies by technical problems caused by sanctions. But the European Union says the technical problems are just a pretext and that Moscow is using the gas as a weapon to advance its interests.

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