Von der Leyen: Europe should prepare to Stop Gas Supplies from Russia
The European Union today put a tighter focus on energy during the Czech presidency of the EU Council, given Russia's war in Ukraine. "We must prepare for a further disruption of gas supplies, even a complete shutdown of supplies from Russia," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament.
She said that by the end of next week, the EC will present a plan on emergency security of energy supply that will help redirect gas flows within the EU to "the places where they are most needed".
“We need to ensure European solidarity and protect the (EU's) single market as well as industrial supply chains,” Von der Leyen said.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala told MEPs that the energy plan will reflect the EU's solidarity in the midst of the COVID crisis.
"The path that the Czech presidency wants to take is, first of all, to work on common European projects to free us from our dependence on Russia," he said.
Von der Leyen and Fiala stressed that the EU's energy market restructuring must keep climate-friendly policies at its core even at a time of sky-high inflation and short-term supply risks.
The European Union has launched a €300 billion plan to divest itself of Russian fossil fuel supplies and is also investing heavily to transform the market towards renewables.
The two leaders said that during the Czech EU presidency, steps will be taken for the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.
Von der Leyen has announced that he will convene a high-level conference on the matter after September, with Germany as the current head of the G7.
"Never before have we faced such a colossal recovery challenge. That's why we need all the help we can get," she said.
Ukraine has said the cost of rebuilding the war-ravaged country is at least $750 billion.
France's presidency of the EU in the first half of this year was dominated by the war in Ukraine, which began with Russia's invasion on February 24.
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