EU to cut dependence on Russian gas by 80 percent this year: report
The European Union’s executive arm is reportedly planning to scale back the bloc’s reliance on Russian oil imports by up to 80 percent this year, as Western governments continue to mull a possible ban on Russian oil and energy products.
Sources close to the matter told Bloomberg that the European Commission is revising its energy strategy in an effort to reduce Moscow’s leverage over the West. The plan is expected to be presented on Tuesday.
According to one source, the proposed plan will include looking into new gas supplies and increasing energy efficiency.
The bloc is also reportedly planning to call for acceleration of its Green Deal, which aims to reach climate neutrality by 2050.
The proposed plan would also call for higher liquified natural gas imports from outside of Russia, more renewable gases and a shift to electrification.
The E.U., the U.K. and the U.S. have issued a wave of economic sanctions against Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. However, Russian energy imports have so far been left out of punitive actions made against Russia due to concerns over how the energy gap would impact energy supplies in Europe.
The White House has said that a ban on Russian energy, which has received bipartisan support in Congress, is still on the table. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that the U.S. was looking at a potential ban in a “coordinated way” with European allies.
However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday pushed back against calls for bans on Russian oil and gas imports, warning that such a move could put Europe’s energy security at risk.
“At the moment, Europe’s supply of energy for heat generation, mobility, power supply and industry cannot be secured in any other way. It is therefore of essential importance for the provision of public services and the daily lives of our citizens,” Scholz said.