“Gas and electricity supply being a vital interest for the country, the Defense and National Security Council (SDSN) will aim to take stock of the situation as well as the scenarios envisaged to prepare for all scenario this fall and this winter,” an adviser to the Elysée told AFP.

“We cannot talk about gas and the energy crisis without talking about Russia and the war in Ukraine, which means that there are subjects of the order of national security and of high strategic value”, pleaded Tuesday on franceinfo the spokesman of the government Olivier Véran to justify the use of this device where the deliberations are secret.

“Don’t see it as a secret enclosure, it’s really collegial, collective work”, he added, however, specifying that he had participated in numerous health defense councils as Minister of Health.

Initially reserved for defense subjects, this advice had been used on numerous occasions by the Head of State at the time of the Covid crisis, provoking criticism from political opposition on the solitary exercise of power.

“An energy defense council, for me, is the secret. The Council of Ministers I see what it is, the assembly, I see what it is, the senate I see what it is, it “is provided for in the constitution. The defense council does not exist”, criticized Tuesday on LCI the boss of the Greens Julien Bayou.

Gas flows from Russia have dried up and the Europeans are preparing for a possible total shutdown, in retaliation for the sanctions imposed on Moscow since the invasion of Ukraine.

Engie has announced that the Russian Gazprom is further reducing its gas deliveries to it as of Tuesday.

The situation is also tense on the electricity side, due to the unavailability of part of the nuclear fleet, in particular for corrosion problems.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Monday urged companies to act to improve their energy sobriety, otherwise they would be the “first affected” by “rationing” measures in the coming months.