Czech Republic to End Reliance on Russian Oil and Strengthen Energy Security

Prague, Czech Republic – October 18, 2023 – Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced the country’s intent to eliminate its reliance on Russian oil within a few months during a speech at the SH!FTS conference. Fiala emphasized the critical role of energy security in national sovereignty and security, highlighting the nation’s previous efforts to reduce its dependence on Russian natural gas and its forthcoming focus on Russian nuclear fuel.

Addressing energy security, Fiala stated that the Czech Republic must strengthen its energy infrastructure and gain more control over essential raw materials. The government has initiated measures over the past year to reduce dependence on Russia and will continue to do so. As part of this shift, the government is taking on a more substantial role in the energy sector, previously held by private investors or foreign states.

Fiala outlined specific actions taken to enhance energy security, including acquiring a stake in liquefied natural gas terminals, taking ownership of the Net4Gas pipeline operator, and expanding the TAL transalpine pipeline’s capacity. The Czech Republic is also preparing for the construction of new nuclear reactors, both conventional and small modular, to establish true energy sovereignty.

National security, according to Fiala, relies on strengthening the economy, investing in transportation infrastructure, and supporting education, science, research, and their integration with industry.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, known for predicting the 2008 financial crisis, shared insights during the conference. He highlighted the role of an interconnected global economy in promoting world peace. Taleb argued that there are not more wars now than in the past; rather, the perception has shifted due to increased connectivity and risk aversion. He pointed out the rapid adaptation of the global economy to the embargo on Russian imports following the Ukraine invasion.

However, Taleb also cautioned about the fragility of the current economic situation, especially in the context of high interest rates. He observed that a whole generation has grown up without experiencing significant interest rates in the Western world, making it challenging to navigate this aspect of the economy. Nonetheless, the world is better prepared to handle crises after the COVID-19 pandemic, having learned from supply chain disruptions and other issues.

In conclusion, the Czech Republic is taking proactive steps to reduce its dependence on Russian resources, particularly in the energy sector, as part of its national security strategy. Furthermore, interconnectedness in the global economy is seen as a factor promoting peace, with enhanced reactivity and resilience, despite certain economic fragilities like high interest rates.

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Article by Prague Forum

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