Moody's lifts Czech Republic outlook on lower Russian gas reliance

(Reuters) - Ratings agency Moody's on Friday upgraded its outlook on the Czech Republic to "stable" from "negative", citing significant reduction in risks related to the country's dependence on Russian gas supply.

The Czech government has been looking to eliminate all reliance on Russian oil and gas in the coming years, and eventually end its exemptions from a European Union ban on imports from Moscow last year following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

In August, the Czech Republic agreed to buy the main Czech gas storage company RWE Gas Storage CZ to bolster energy security, and in May signed a deal to boost capacity along the Transalpine Pipeline and cut off dependence on Russia from 2025.

"The Czech Republic has become independent from Russian gas thanks to an effective substitution of Russian gas and structurally lower demand," Moody's said in its statement.

About 98% of the Czech Republic's gas supply was imported through pipelines from Russia prior to the Russia-Ukraine war, according to the ratings agency.

On Friday, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said he supported Slovakia's request to continue exports of fuel produced from Russian oil to the Czech Republic beyond a Dec. 5 deadline.

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