‘All the pieces is on the desk,’ EU chief says of Russian vitality sanctions as Ukraine tensions escalate

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EU Fee’s President Ursula von der Leyen holds a press convention forward the G20 and the COP26 (Glasgow Convention) within the Berlaymont, the EU Fee headquarter on October 28, 2021 in Brussels, Belgium.

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Thierry Monasse | Getty Photographs Information | Getty Photographs

European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen has advised CNBC that vitality sanctions towards Russia are nonetheless an possibility if the nation invades Ukraine.

When requested about the potential for imposing sanctions on Russian fuel large Gazprom, von der Leyen mentioned Saturday, “all the pieces is on the desk.”

Europe imports round 40% of its fuel provide from Gazprom, the EU chief advised CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on the Munich Safety Convention, which von der Leyen described as a “dependency that’s not sustainable.”

She mentioned she had been reaching out with success to different suppliers, reminiscent of america.

“We had now, in January, the best quantity of vitality deliveries [from elsewhere], and we all know by now that if there’s a decoupling of Russian fuel as a retaliation, we’re in a position to make it by means of this winter with out Russian fuel however with provide from others and that is good,” von der Leyen mentioned.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has argued that any potential sanctions towards Russia shouldn’t embrace vitality imports. Italy is among the many largest importers of Russian gas in the European Union.

Von der Leyen maintained that it was essential to not rule out any choices, noting that two-thirds of Russia’s vitality exports go to Europe and this accounts for a big quantity of Russia’s finances. She argued that it was, due to this fact, not a “good transfer” for Russia to decouple Europe from its fuel provide.

Von der Leyen added that she had reassured Draghi that Europe would supply fuel from elsewhere and that there was a pipeline community by means of the continent to “deliver the required fuel to Italy in order that Italy can also be on the protected aspect.”

NATO Secretary Common Jens Stoltenberg agreed that the European Fee had been “working arduous” to scale back its vitality dependency on Russia.

“We should be much less depending on vitality from one supply, from fuel from Russia,” Stoltenberg advised CNBC on the Munich Safety Convention.

He added this was essential, “partly to scale back emissions of greenhouse, of CO2, but in addition to be much less susceptible [to] any aggressive actions from Russia in utilizing fuel as a political software.”

Discussing the specter of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU’s von der Leyen mentioned “all of us need that diplomacy could have victory, however we put together for the worst.”

President Joe Biden mentioned on Friday that the U.S. believes Putin has decided to carry out an attack on Ukraine “within the coming days.”

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