Photo: Ursula von der Leyen/Twitter.

By Peter Meller

The European Union is ready for interruptions in gas supplies from Russia. All scenarios have been worked through and the Community has achieved energy security for the winter season. Gas is becoming rapidly cheaper.

This assurance was given to MEPs in Strasbourg by Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission. She explained that the EC “has been negotiating for many weeks with countries that are ready to increase gas supplies (mainly LNG) to the EU.” Thanks to such contracts, January “has already seen record supplies of liquefied natural gas to Europe.”

In recent weeks, the EC has worked through all scenarios for a possible total or partial cessation of gas supplies to the Union from the Russian Federation and has achieved energy security for the current winter season,” von der Leyen added.

Such measures are necessary in case “Russia decides to weaponise energy”.

The EC chief stressed that Gazprom was cutting supplies to the EU precisely at a time of high demand for gas. Such actions have already “damaged Russia’s reputation as a reliable supplier of energy resources.”

For the first time, Brussels has officially admitted that Russia is using gas as a weapon and a tool to force decisions that are favourable for itself. The issue at stake is the approval of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which would increase the EU’s dependence on Russian gas to over 50%.