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Russia flaring gas rather than selling, says EU’s von der Leyen during G20 summit

European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, accused Russia of using its gas as a weapon, and destroying it instead of selling it.

Ursula von der Leyen
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Von der Leyen made the accusation at the G20 summit as he responded to Western sanctions against its invasion of Ukraine, charged.

Moscow cut off its supplies of gas to the EU earlier this year in retaliation for sanctions imposed over the invasion of Ukraine.

“We see that Russia is flaring its gas rather than selling it,” von der Leyen said during the first session of the annual summit of the G20 group of leading world economies in Indonesia, according to diplomats.

The commission president said the Russian behaviour was “creating shortages in global energy markets and causing prices to skyrocket.’’

The EU, therefore, supported the introduction of an oil price cap, she added, saying this would also benefit low- and middle-income countries.

Von der Leyen added: “But our best response to the situation is to accelerate the transition to clean forms of energy. This is the only answer to both the energy and climate crises and it also offers enormous opportunities for other regions of the world.”

She, however,  said that Europe would therefore invest at least €4 billion ($4.1 billion) in renewable energies such as hydrogen over the next five years. This would also trigger massive private investment.

European Council President, Charles Michel, also lashed out at Russia, according to participants at the summit’s first session, accusing Moscow of having instrumentalised energy as a weapon, with negative effects on the economy not only being felt in Europe but worldwide.

The G20 is a group of leading world economies which met at regular intervals to discuss key global issues, this year amid unprecedented tensions due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

At the summit in Bali, Russia was being represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov because, according to the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin could not attend due to time constraints.

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