Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, von der Leyen said the 27-nation bloc should be getting ready for shock disruptions by the Kremlin.
“We also need to prepare now for further disruption of gas supply and even a complete cut-off of Russian gas supply,” she added.
She told EU lawmakers that 12 member states have already been hit by reductions or full cuts in gas supplies.
“It is obvious: Putin continues to use energy as a weapon," von der Leyen said. "This is why the Commission is working on a European emergency plan. We need to make sure that in case of full disruption, the gas flows towards where it is most needed. We have to provide for European solidarity.”
She stressed that the bloc was trying to wean itself off Russian gas and diversifying suppliers.
“And our efforts are already making a big difference,” she said. “Since March, global LNG exports to Europe have risen by 75 percent compared to 2021. LNG exports from the US to Europe have nearly tripled.”
Von der Leyen added that the average monthly imports of Russian gas declined by 33 percent compared with 2021. She appealed for a quick transition to green energy.
She told the EU legislature: “Some say, in the new security environment after Russia’s aggression, we have to slow down the green transition. This transition would come at the ‘the cost of basic security,’ they say. The opposite is true. If we all do nothing but compete about limited fossil fuels, the prices will further explode and fill Putin’s war chest.
“Renewables are home-grown. They give us independence from Russian fossil fuels. They are more cost-efficient. And they are cleaner.”
Source: Associated Press