Italy PM Draghi to skip Africa journey after constructive COVID check

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The Italian chief was scheduled to go to Angola and Congo for talks on switching vitality provides from Russia.

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Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has scrapped a go to to oil-rich Angola and the Republic of the Congo after testing constructive for COVID-19, his workplace has stated.

A press release from his workplace on Monday stated Draghi, 74, who was to fly to Luanda on Wednesday and Brazzaville on Thursday for talks on switching vitality provides from Russia, is “asymptomatic”.

He will probably be changed by overseas minister Luigi Di Maio and the minister in control of ecological transition, Roberto Cingolani.

Final week, Italy and Algeria signed agreements to strengthen vitality ties and enhance the North African state’s vitality exports to Italy. Draghi introduced the offers in Algeria on April 11, including that they have been a big step in Italy’s drive to scale back its dependency on Russian gas.

Italy, which is closely depending on overseas gasoline, purchased some 29 billion cubic metres (bcm) from Russia final 12 months, about 40 % of its whole gasoline imports.

The prime minister stated the gasoline cope with Algeria had been signed by the 2 international locations’ dominant vitality gamers, Eni and Sonatrach. Particulars of the deal weren’t instantly accessible.

As a part of a broader declaration of intent, Draghi stated Italy was able to work with Algeria to develop renewable vitality and inexperienced hydrogen.

Rome and Algiers already had a contract for gasoline deliveries up till 2027.

There have been debates about whether or not different international locations – in Africa and past – can step as much as present different gasoline provides to Europe since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Italy has additionally reached out to make preparations with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Azerbaijan and Qatar, amongst others.

The Russian invasion has triggered sweeping Western sanctions that threaten to disrupt vitality flows, elevating the potential for gasoline shortages.

Ecological transition minister Roberto Cingolani stated earlier this month that Italy anticipated to get an additional 10 bcm of gasoline from pipelines from Algeria, Libya and Azerbaijan this 12 months.

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