BRUSSELS – European leaders meeting in Brussels this week were keen to focus on granting Ukraine EU candidate status, but also had to deal with a pressing issue related to the war: Russia is slowly shutting down its gas pipeline.
In recent days, gas shortages in Germany have forced Europe’s economic machinery to increase its energy emergency protocol and urge Germans to save electricity. The next phase is ration.
EU leaders on Friday called on the European Commission (EC), the EU’s executive body, to come up with policy proposals that would use Europe’s prolonged dependence on its gas supply to further ease the flow of gas, to the detriment of Russia’s and Ukraine’s supporters. Disconnect countries completely.
“We looked at the model of the past weeks and months, but look back, and when you look at last year’s sample and when you see Cosprom filling the cache – or I have to say the cache did not fill up because last year they were less than 10 years old,” said Ursula van der Leyen, chairman of the commission on Friday. .
“Now the 12 member states have been completely or partially cut off,” he added.
Ms Van der Leyne said she was asking her experts to propose an emergency plan to deal with the shortage that could occur in the winter. The Commission has already encouraged the joint purchase and storage of gas by EU members as a precautionary measure in the event of a country being cut off. For example, after the suspension of gas supplies to Bulgaria, Greece offered to help supply its neighbors and fellow EU members.
But if Russia decides to hurt Europe for its support for Ukraine by cutting supplies from its energy company Gasprom, it is not clear whether such a temporary unity will work in the winter.
The European Union (EU) has imposed sanctions on Russia’s fossil fuels, including a broader ban on Russian oil imports, which will take effect later this year. But Russia has not been able to do it like gas, and it relies heavily on it because it has not yet lined up enough alternatives. Meanwhile, gas prices have risen, pushing up prices for European buyers and easing the impact of sanctions on Russia.
What solutions European leaders are proposing to the growing problem will take effect in a few months. For now, member states often have to deal with potential shortages on their own.
Ms Van der Leyne said she had been asked to present her proposals at the next EU summit in October and that her staff would finalize them in September.
Meanwhile, he urged people to use less power.
“We must not only change the gas, but always use the opportunity for energy savings. I can not stress enough,” he said, adding that Europeans could save a lot if they discard their air-conditioners in the summer and their heaters when the temperature drops.
Gas is not the only urgent question facing world leaders. Ahead of the G-7 summit in Germany on Sunday, embassy officials also met in Berlin on Friday to discuss the global food crisis caused by Ukraine’s inability to export its grain. Earlier this week, the UN said the war had plunged tens of thousands of people into food insecurity.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbach welcomed the delegation Secretary of State Anthony Blingen; Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Luigi de Mayo; And other officials to discuss possible solutions.
Before the war, Ukraine exported millions of metric tons of grain a month, mostly through now-banned ports. Authorities weighed in on the possibility of moving the grain through the land, which is a very slow and very complex endeavor.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr Blingen said that while the food crisis would continue for some time, it was important not to leave Russia, which violates the basic human rights of the Ukrainian people.
“Friend of animals everywhere. Devoted analyst. Total alcohol scholar. Infuriatingly humble food trailblazer.”