Commenting in the context of the decision of Russian gas energy giant Gazprom’s decision to cut its supplies of gas to Ukraine, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms, stated:
“The EU should not just stand by while Russia refuses to supply gas to Ukraine for political reasons.
“The Russian negotiators must return to the negotiating table. It is not just the EU but also Putin’s government that depends on the smooth functioning of the market for natural gas - a large part of Russia’s state budget is financed by trade in gas. The EU must not give way to this show of strength. Currently, gas storage facilities in Ukraine and the EU are well filled and demand for gas in the summer is relatively low. Ukraine also has the possibility, if faced with short-term spikes in demand, of importing gas from Slovakia. This pipeline provides for reversal of the direction of the gas flow.
“The European Commission must take up a strong role in the negotiations. Clearly, Ukraine must pay for their imports. But at the moment, this decision is also the result of Putin’s aim of forcing Ukraine to change its course as a country. The EU needs to make it clear that Ukraine does not stand alone in this conflict.
“It is more urgent than ever for the EU as a whole to reduce its dependency on energy imports by moving towards energy diversification and implementing an ambitious energy saving and efficiency strategy. The EU must stop delaying on these changes, even if they require time.”