The member countries of the European Union have reached an agreement on the eighth package of sanctions against Russia. Borrell: War enters a new and dangerous phase
Speaking in the European Parliament, meeting in the Strasbourg headquarters in the plenary on the “Escalation of the Russian war against Ukraine”, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, concentrated almost all of her speech on the energy problem.
“I welcome the agreement reached today by the Member States on the eighth package of sanctions. We moved quickly and decisively. We will never accept Putin’s fake referendums or any kind of annexation in Ukraine. We are determined to continue making the Kremlin pay”. This is the reaction of the President of the European Commission on Twitter regarding the agreement reached within the 27 on the eighth package of sanctions against Russia.
During the plenary you stressed the importance of facing together with unity and solidarity the challenges arising from the Russian attack. “Since we last met to discuss the state of our Union, the Kremlin has stepped up its aggression to a new level. Putin launched the first Russian mobilization since World War II, treating hundreds of thousands of young Russians like meat. from cannon “. Said the president of the European Commission in her speech.
Putin “uses false referendums in an illegal attempt to change international borders by force. And for months he has been using energy as a weapon. The Russian war causes economic and social difficulties. It represents a heavy burden for our citizens and for the economy in our single market, “he added. “The increase in energy costs, in particular, is leading to a reduction in purchasing power for citizens and a loss of competitiveness for businesses”, stressed von der Leyen.
Over the past seven months, together with our Member States, we have already taken important steps. We have decreased our gas consumption by around 10%. Russian gas supplies decreased from 41% to 7.5% of gas from pipelines “.
“We will intensify our negotiations with trusted partners, for example with Norway, to dampen the price we pay for gas imports.”
Ready for a temporary price cap on gas for electricity
President Von der Leyen added that: “High gas prices drive up electricity prices. We need to limit this inflationary impact of gas on electricity everywhere in Europe. For this reason, we are ready to discuss a price cap. of the gas used to generate electricity. This ceiling would also be a first step towards a structural reform of the electricity market “. You then added that such a ceiling on gas prices must be properly designed to ensure security of supply. And that this is a temporary solution to cope with the fact that the Ttf (Title Transfer Facility), our main benchmark for prices, is no longer representative of our market, which today includes more LNG “
Target gas pipelines to be protected
A priority for the President of the Commission are the acts of sabotage against the Nord Stream gas pipelines which ”have shown how vulnerable our energy infrastructure is. For the first time in recent history, they have become a target. Gas pipelines and submarine cables connect European citizens and businesses to the world. They are the lifelines of data and energy. It is in the interest of all Europeans to better protect this critical infrastructure. We need to stress test our infrastructure. “
“We need to identify its weaknesses and prepare our reaction to sudden outages. We will work with Member States to ensure effective stress tests in the energy sector. This should be followed by other high-risk sectors, such as digital offshore and electricity infrastructure.” , he added.
Borrell’s speech: “Worrying nuclear threat”
On the day Putin signs the annexation of the four occupied Ukrainian regions, the High Representative of EU Foreign Policy Josep Borrell, in his speech in Strasbourg, said that “the war has entered a new phase, but a dangerous one, because it is a traditional war against a nuclear power: it is a worrying scenario and we must show that we will continue to support Ukraine. Russia continues to have superiority of fire and of strength “. Josep Borrell continues underlining that now the foreign policy towards Ukraine will be clear, “whereas before it was subsidiary to our policy towards Russia because it was dependent on Russian energy”.
“Putin believes that democracy is weak, that we will not endure a cold winter and that support for Ukraine will weaken with high prices and low temperatures. But European citizens know that Ukraine’s security is inextricably linked to ours. “If there is a price to pay, Europeans must understand that it is worth doing it and that the effort we will make will go down in history, that the united European Union has withstood an onslaught of a system other than ours,” added Borrell. .
“Before this plenary session” of the European Parliament ends, or tomorrow, “I hope that an agreement can be reached by the Council approving the joint proposal” for new sanctions on Russia “presented by the Commission”, he concluded.