Brussels is reportedly drawing up contingency plans in the event that the Ukraine crisis impacts energy supplies. It comes after wholesale gas prices have reached record highs in Europe amid the tensions with the Kremlin. Russia, which supplies around 40 percent of the bloc’s gas, has been accused of “weaponising” its pipelines.
Diplomats are now drawing up plans to secure energy supplies in the event there is a further reduction from Russia, according to reports.
Ms von der Leyen told the Financial Times in an interview on Friday that the EU needed to be prepared for “any scenario” with Russia and Ukraine.
This is said to include cutting its reliance on Russia for energy and, instead, finding alternative suppliers.
She added: “You would never trust a gas supplier that is not reliable.
“This scenario would be very difficult for the EU, but the same goes for Russia with its one-dimensional economy.
“In such a situation we would also do everything to alleviate the pressure on households and consumers.”
The commission is now said to be examining whether could intervene temporarily to weaken the link between record gas prices and the cost of wholesale electricity in the EU.
This idea was previously ruled out during a record electricity price surge.
It is also looking at securing liquified natural gas (LNG) from other countries like the US, Qatar and Israel.
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It comes after analysts warned that if Russia did cut all supplies then the EU would face rolling blackouts.
The contingency measures will be presented to EU members at a meeting next month.
The commission said Brussels was working on ways to “make our energy markets even more resilient and operate in the most optimal way”.
Today, German chancellor Olaf Scholz will meet his US counterpart Joe Biden in Washington amid growing dissatisfaction with Berlin’s reluctance to take a clear stance on Russia.
While Mr Scholz emphasised in an interview with ARD on Sunday that “we have had a clear strategy with our allies for a very long time,” Germany is being increasingly portrayed as the weakest link in the West’s response to Russia.
A major geopolitical flashpoint facing Germany is Nord Stream 2, an $11billion (£8billion) pipeline that would directly run from Russia to Germany, bypassing existing lines in Ukraine and Poland.
Mr Biden is likely to press Mr Scholz on the pipeline’s future, as well as German defence spending and its hesitance to assert itself in European affairs.