EC President on Russian gas cut-off: Attempt at blackmail

The announcement by Gazprom that it is unilaterally stopping delivery of gas to customers in Europe is yet another attempt by Russia to use gas as an instrument of blackmail, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on April 27.

Reacting to Russia cutting off gas to Bulgaria and Poland after they refused to pay in roubles, Von der Leyen said: “This is unjustified and unacceptable”.

It showed once again the unreliability of Russia as a gas supplier, she said.

“We are prepared for this scenario. We are in close contact with all member states,” Von der Leyen said.

“We have been working to ensure alternative deliveries and the best possible storage levels across the EU.”

She said that EU countries had put in place contingency plans for just such a scenario and the Commission had worked with them “in coordination and solidarity”.

Von der Leyen said that the gas coordination group was meeting on the morning of April 27: “We are mapping out our coordinated EU response”.

She said that the EU would also continue working with international partners to secure alternative flows.

“And I will continue working with European and world leaders to ensure the security of energy supply in Europe,” Von der Leyen said.

(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)

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