The European Union's (EU) emergency plan to prepare for a possible halt in Russian gas supplies will come into force on Tuesday after it was published in the bloc's official journal the previous day, APA reports citing the official magazine of the organization.
Under the plan, EU countries are to reduce their gas consumption voluntarily by 15 percent between August 1 this year and March 31, 2023, compared to the average consumption in the same period during the past five years, reports the DPA news agency.
According to European Commission figures, a total of 45 billion cubic meters of gas are to be saved to reach the target.
Germany alone would have to consume around 10 billion cubic meters less.
The aim of the gas savings is to prepare for a possible total cut of Russian gas supplies to the EU after Moscow significantly reduced gas supplies to the bloc in recent months.
The new contingency plan also foresees the possibility of triggering an EU-wide alert in the event of widespread gas shortages with mandatory gas savings targets.
At least 15 EU countries, representing at least 65 percent of the 27-member bloc's total population, would have to give their approval to activate the alert with binding consumption cuts.
Several countries, including Italy and Spain, have secured exemptions for such an event and would have to save less than 15 percent.
The emergency plan will initially be in place for one year.