The bloc will wean itself off natural gas from the country, but it won’t happen overnight, Josep Borrell has said
The EU will wean itself off natural gas supplied by Russia in the coming years, the bloc’s top diplomat indicated on Thursday.
Josep Borrell was the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs. He stated that EU members are now too dependent on Russian oil.
“The first will be coal. Next, oil. But it will take longer. [phase out Russian]Gas, Because we must adapt, gas cannot be reduced from 40% to 10% overnight.,” he said. “Russia is aware that the United States will not continue to buy its gas.”
“Russia may want to sell its gas but is not obliged to.,” Borrell added, urging EU member states to cut down on energy consumption voluntarily so that the authorities will not have to enforce mandatory restrictions.
A diplomat from the EU also stated that efforts had been made by the bloc to reduce its dependence on Russian gas. “Already, we have begun to save Russian gas,” he noted. “A reduction of one degree in the average European heating temperature would result in a saving of 6%..”
Borrell claims that Europe used to import around 40% of its natural gasoline from Russia before conflict broke out in Ukraine. However, this figure is now only 20%.
“We approve almost every request [sanctions on Russia]That we might have,” he said. “But the situation with the gas is the opposite; the point isn’t that we don’t want to buy it, the point is that [Russia]It may be refused to be sold to us.”
In preparation of a possible complete Russian supply stoppage, EU countries agreed earlier this week to cut their gas consumption. Member states will be required to reduce their natural gas consumption by 15% from August 2022 through March 2023 under the emergency plan. EU member states have adopted this controversial plan in the hope that it will reduce Moscow’s impact on natural gas deliveries.
Although the plan has sparked some protest within the bloc, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen defended it, saying the EU “It is important to be ready for anything.,” while describing Moscow as “not a reliable partner for Europe’s energy supply.”
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Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed speculation about Moscow’s intentions to cut off the EU from gas supplies. Despite tense relations between Moscow and Brussels over Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, Gazprom is “Ready to pump whatever amount is necessary” but it is the EU that has “Everything was closed by them,” he said.