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EU’s Von Der Leyen Accuses Russia Of Burning Gas During G20 Summit

FILE PHOTO: European Commission Vice-President in charge of Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager talks at the start of a meeting of the College of Commissioners at the Berlaymont, in Brussels, Belgium, November 10, 2021. Stephanie Lecocq /Pool via REUTERS

Nusa Dua, (Indonesia) – European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday,  accused Russia of using its gas as a weapon, and destroying it instead of selling it.

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 four billion euros ($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. (dpa/NAN) 

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