Switzerland and Italy signed an agreement on energy supply to protect themselves from possible future gas supply bottlenecks.

This would help with securing gas “in the event of a supply shortage from Germany”, Swiss environment and energy minister Albert Rösti said in Rome.

Rösti was in the Italian capital on Thursday to sign two agreements on energy supply and cross-border rail transport with Italian ministers Matteo Salvini and Gilberto Pichetto Fratin.

Rösti and Pichetto Fratin, Italy’s environment and energy Security minister, signed a memorandum of understanding on the security of gas supplies, guaranteeing the implementation of a commercial agreement between the Swiss energy supply platform OpenEP and the Italian company ENI.

In return, Switzerland will not withdraw any gas flowing through Switzerland to Italy in case of an emergency. “We made the concession that we would not then block the line capacities for Italy and then divert the gas ourselves,” explained Rösti.

This agreement would enable Switzerland to import gas through ENI if gas supplies from Germany were to be interrupted.