German Chancellor Olaf Schulz told CNBC that the West must work “hard” to find alternative sources of energy outside Russia. Talks intensify about possible sanctions.
Speaking to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the annual Munich Security Conference, Schulz stressed that much of the West is dependent on Russian energy supplies.
“There are a lot of oil, coal and gas exports from Russia to many countries – and there are also big exports [export] From oil to the United States.”
“So we all have to work hard to produce a situation where we have alternatives. It is also essential that we also make it possible for there to be good cooperation – we go back to a situation where there is no such confrontation… that is what we are working for.
It was Russia The largest supplier of natural gas and oil to the European Union last year.
This comes after many Western officials have talked in recent weeks about imposing sanctions on Russia – and its energy industry in particular – if it invades Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly denied it is planning to invade its neighbour, but has amassed an estimated 150,000 troops near the border.
She was there too Multiple allegations of bombing across the ceasefire lines From both Russian and Ukrainian sources this week. On Saturday, as part of a “planned exercise”, Russia launched ballistic and cruise missiles In a review of its nuclear readiness.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told CNBC earlier on Saturday that energy sanctions against Russian gas giant Gazprom would remain “on the table” in the event of an invasion.
However, such sanctions could have significant financial repercussions for Ukraine, as a number of Russian gas pipelines pass through the country. “We take care” of the issue, Schulz insisted.
“We are working hard to make gas transit through Ukraine something that has a good future,” he said.
“We have already started working hard to come up with good gas transport agreements for Ukraine with Russia when the next period begins. This is our responsibility…Make gas transit a business that works through all our pipelines, especially the Ukrainian pipelines. But now we are working for peace.”
Schulz is not the only person to discuss the need to reduce energy dependence in Russia; Earlier on Saturday, both von der Leyen and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said such action was important.
Europe has been “working hard” to reduce its energy dependence on Russia, Stoltenberg said, adding: “We need to be less dependent on energy from a single source.”
While von der Leyen stressed that the European Union has succeeded in accessing alternative sources of energy. “We are able to get through this winter without Russian gas,” she said.
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