Europe should end its dependence on Russian gas, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday.
“Russia is no longer a reliable partner,” she told a virtual conference hosted by German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
“The Kremlin is using its market position to threaten Europe, to divide us, and to blackmail us. This means that we must no longer make ourselves dependent on such a supplier,” she said.
Von der Leyen condemned Russia’s war on Ukraine, and said Europe should no longer provide billions in revenue “to a country that invaded its neighbor.”
She said European countries will step up their efforts to purchase gas from alternative sources and accelerate the green energy transition, shifting away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Western countries imposed widespread sanctions against Russia, targeting individuals, banks, businesses and major state-owned enterprises, and exports.
At least 3,280 civilians have been killed and 3,451 others injured in Ukraine since the war with Russia began on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is feared to be much higher.
More than 5.7 million people have fled to other countries, with some 7.7 million people internally displaced, data from the UN refugee agency show.
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