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EU pledges to cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds before the end of the year


On the eve Portugal’s announced price hike on March 6, 2022 in fuel prices, a driver tops off his tank at Prio Gas Station.

Horacio Villalobos | Corbis News | Getty Images

On Tuesday, the European Union presented a plan for reducing its dependence on Russian energy. Moscow’s invasion of UkrainePrices that are sky high and potential Russian oil embargoes.

The European Commission is the executive arm and the EU’s administrative arm. It wants to stop buying fossil fuels from Russia by 2030. It has also made a pledge to cut its Russian gas purchases by at least two-thirds this year.

According to Tuesday’s statement, this could be done by diversifying the suppliers of its hydrogen producers, increasing production of renewable hydrocarbons, and improving household energy efficiency.

As a result, the 27-member bloc has come under fire for being dependent on Russia for their energy needs.

According to data from The European Union, the EU will import around 45% more gas from India in 2021 than it did from other countries. International Energy Agency. In 2020, Russian oil imports accounted for about 25% of the bloc’s crude purchases, according to the region’s statistics office.

“We can gradually reduce fossil gas consumption by at least 155,000 billion cubic meters, equivalent to Russia’s imports in 2021,” the commission stated. “Almost two-thirds” of this reduction could be made within a year. It would also end EU dependence on one single supplier.

In the new plan, the Commission wants EU members to have at least 90% gas stored by October 1. Additionally, the commission suggested that rules regarding state aid might be relaxed to assist companies in high-energy prices.

Ursula von der Leyen was the president of European Commission. She cited comments from the EU’s Energy Commissioner, saying that it is urgent to take action now to reduce the effects of rising prices and diversify gas supply next winter. Kadri SimsonCNBC, last week.

Energie sanctions

It is easy to talk about energy dependence. pressure mountsThe EU should ban Russian natural gas and oil imports.

In the aftermath of the invasion by Ukraine, U.S. legislators are considering legislation that would prohibit Russia from buying crude oil. However, many EU countries — notably Germany — are concerned that following suit would spark an acute economic headache.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz declared Monday that the energy supply to Europe is not possible in other ways at the moment.

Zoltan Kvacs, the spokesperson for Hungary’s government, stated Monday via Twitter that Budapest would not endorse “any measure that could put Hungary’s security in energy.”

Edgars Rinkevics (foreign minister of Latvia) spoke to Steve Sedgwick of CNBC on Tuesday. He said that critics of the EU’s dependence on Russian energy were “justifiable.”

He stated, “We now are rectifying any issues we can.”

CNBC was informed Monday by an EU official that no agreements have been reached between the 27 countries regarding sanctions on Russia’s energy. But, the source said, this will ultimately become a move for national governments to make — meaning that different EU capitals could take decisions into their own hands without having to rely on unanimity across the bloc.

EU leaders plan to discuss ways to be more independent of Russia’s energy as they meet for the summit in France on Thursday.