Italy better prepared than most to face winter with low Russian gas -minister

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Italy's Minister for Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani speaks during the Youth4Climate pre-COP26 conference in Milan, Italy, September 28, 2021. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

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MILAN, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Italy is in a better position than other countries as winter approaches, after it clinched deals with gas producer countries in Africa and ramped up the filling of gas storages, the country's Ecological Transition Minister said on Tuesday.

"A winter of prudence and sober consumption awaits us, but more sustainable than other countries," Roberto Cingolani said in an interview at state broadcaster RAI.

Cingolani said Italy's storage system was 75% full, on track to reach the country's 90% goal ahead of the winter.

He added that under an agreement reached by European countries in July, Italy will reduce its gas use by 5 billion cubic meters this year. Last year Rome got from Russia 40% of its total gas imports and it is scrambling to reduce its dependence from Moscow.

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Reporting by Francesca Landini and Elvira Pollina; Writing by Francesca Landini; Editing by Mark Porter

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