Belgium's prime minister on Monday said rising energy costs could pose long-term difficulties for the country in the coming winter seasons.
“The next five to 10 winters will be difficult,” Alexander De Croo said as he visited a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Zeebrugge, the country's western port city.
De Croo stated that the situation was difficult for Europe and that some sectors were facing serious problems due to rising energy prices.
He added that they are actively monitoring the situation, stressing the importance of being prepared for the worst.
Rising energy prices impacted the Belgian economy, particularly in sectors that rely heavily on energy. The production capacity of some sectors is said to have been cut in half. A quarter of the country's natural gas is used in industrial operations.
Russia has threatened to send less gas to Europe as many western countries including the EU have slammed sanctions on Russian individuals and entities as a reaction to Moscow's war in Ukraine, now in its sixth month.
Assuming the worst-case scenario in which Russia completely cuts off gas supplies, the EU has announced a plan to cut gas consumption by 15% from August until March to gradually reduce demand.
Reporting by Omer Tugrul Cam, Writing by Dilara Hamit