“The short-term challenge is to have more gas, more electricity coming from countries other than Russia (…) I’m not sure that a new gas pipeline can help us get through the winter” , he declared to the press in Cernobbio (northern Italy), on the sidelines of the economic forum The European House – Ambrosetti.

Conversely, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated on Tuesday his strong support for a gas pipeline through the Pyrenees in order to “improve the interconnections of the European gas network” against the backdrop of the energy crisis caused by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Such a project would allow Spain, but also Portugal, to transport gas, coming in the form of LNG from the United States or Qatar, to Central Europe via France.

Launched in 2013, the project was abandoned in 2019 by Paris and Madrid due to its environmental impact and low economic interest. But Russian threats of a halt in gas deliveries to the EU have put the subject back on the table.

“The challenge now, for everyone, for Italy, Germany and France, is to get through next winter without affecting our economy and our households too much,” argued Bruno Le Maire.

“Before thinking about long-term investment, let’s focus on the challenges we face next winter,” he said.

“Electricity and hydrogen seem more promising to me than a new gas pipeline, because we want to rely on carbon-free energy,” explained the minister.