Europe can survive this winter despite a “deliberate” cut in gas supplies by Russian energy giant Gazprom, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Saturday.
“Even in the event of a complete disruption of the gas supply from Russia, we are on the safe side for this winter,” von der Leyen said at the Munich security conference, noting that Brussels has already diversified its gas suppliers to be ready in case Gazprom shuts down. its taps.
“For now, we could replace Russian gas with LNG [liquefied natural gas] deliveries we receive from our friends all over the world,” she added.
Energy supply emerges as a key aspect of the ongoing tensions between Western countries and Russia, as several major EU countries, such as Germany and Italy, rely heavily on Russian gas.
“A strong European Union cannot be so dependent on an energy supplier that threatens to start a war on our continent. Gazprom, a Russian state-owned company, is deliberately trying to store and deliver as little as possible,” he said. she declared.
The President of the Commission insisted that Europe is ready to face a possible Russian gas cut thanks to the help of alternative suppliers, including the United States, and that European energy infrastructures could even be used to supply gas to Ukraine, if needed.
Von der Leyen also warned that Europe should accelerate its transition to sustainable energy sources, also as a way to be independent of Russian gas.
“We need to diversify both our suppliers and our sources of energy,” she said, noting that “we are doubling down on renewables” and that “this will increase Europe’s strategic independence in energy”.