Gazprom’s announcement that it is unilaterally stopping gas delivery to certain EU Member States is another provocation from the Kremlin. But it comes as no surprise that the Kremlin uses fossil fuels to try to blackmail us.
This is something the European Commission has been preparing for, in close coordination and solidarity with Member States and international partners. Our response will be immediate, united and coordinated.
First, we will ensure that Gazprom’s decision has the least possible impact on European consumers. Today, Member States met in the Gas Coordination Group. Poland and Bulgaria updated us on the situation. Both Poland and Bulgaria are now receiving gas from their EU neighbours. This shows first of all the immense solidarity among us but it also shows the effectiveness of past investments, for example in interconnectors and other gas infrastructure. The Commission will also intensify its work with the so-called regional groups of Member States, that can provide the most immediate solidarity to each other. This will mitigate any impacts on possible gas disruptions.
Second, we will continue our work to ensure sufficient gas supply and storage in the medium term. Our action plan REPowerEU will help to significantly reduce our dependency on Russian fossil fuels already this year. We have also reached an agreement with the US to provide additional LNG imports this year and the following ones. And we are working hand in hand with our Member States to secure alternative gas supply from other partners, too. In the longer term, REPowerEU will also help us move to a more reliable, secure and sustainable energy supply. We will present our plans to speed up the green transition in mid-May. Every euro we invest in renewables and energy efficiency is a down payment on our future energy independence.
This latest aggressive move by Russia is another reminder that we need to work with reliable partners, and build our energy independence. The Commission is in contact with the French Presidency. And I welcome their plans to convene a meeting of EU Energy Ministers as soon as possible. Today, the Kremlin failed once again in this attempt to sow division between Europeans. The era of Russian fossil fuels in Europe will come to an end. Europe is moving forward on energy issues.