The Heads of State and Government of the 27 will discuss this Friday how the European Union could do without Russian gas as the supplier Gazprom last week reduced flows to the EU, which, according to the Germany, could force some industries to close this winter.
The second day of the European summit in Brussels should thus focus on the economic impact of the war in Ukraine for the 27, the day after the EU’s decision to grant the country the status of candidate for membership of the bloc. .
According to a draft declaration consulted by Reuters, the 27 will ask the European executive to find solutions for energy supplies in the face of Moscow’s use of gas imports “as a weapon” and will commit to remain united in the face of challenges posed by the war, as inflation in the 19 countries sharing the euro reached record highs.
In their statement, the leaders will also ask the Commission to seek to guarantee the supply of energy at affordable prices, a very complex dossier which divides the 27, with some countries believing that import prices could disrupt the market and exacerbate the situation.
A dozen EU countries, so far, have seen cuts in gas supplies from Russia as a result of Western sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, leading to a race for alternative supplies in the EU. whole block.
“It’s only a matter of time before the Russians stop all gas deliveries”, a European official said ahead of Friday’s talks. German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in an interview with Spiegel published on Friday that his country is heading for a gas shortage if Russian supplies remain at their current low level.