The European Union could cut its reliance on Russian gas supplies by 50 billion cubic metres — or one-third — in only 12 months under new measures proposed by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which said on Thursday that Moscow is undeniably using its gas exports as an “economic and political weapon”.

The Paris-based agency said the 27-nation EU bloc needs to act quickly to avoid supply disruptions next winter and offered a suite of recommendations aimed at achieving sharp reductions in Russian gas imports while remaining consistent with the European Green Deal and supporting energy security and affordability.