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The European Union has outlined plans to eliminate its dependence on Russian energy.  

Speaking on Tuesday, it says it will cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds this year, and eliminate its overall need for Russian oil and gas “well before 2030.”

The EU said in a press release it plans to eliminate its dependence on Russian gas by “diversifying gas supplies, via higher LNG and pipeline imports from non-Russian suppliers, and larger volumes of biomethane and renewable hydrogen production and imports; and, reducing faster the use of fossil fuels in our homes, buildings, industry, and power system, by boosting energy efficiency, increasing renewables and electrification, and addressing infrastructure bottlenecks.”

The European Union depends on Russia for about 40% of its natural gas. Russia also supplies about 27% of the oil the EU imports each year.

Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak said Monday Russia could cut off the supply of gas to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in retaliation for Scholz blocking the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

The EU also announced a series of measures to counter soaring energy prices which the bloc has been facing for several months, now exacerbated by supply disruption worries, including potential temporary price limits and short-term state aid to companies affected by high energy prices.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We must become independent from Russian oil, coal and gas. We simply cannot rely on a supplier who explicitly threatens us. We need to act now to mitigate the impact of rising energy prices, diversify our gas supply for next winter and accelerate the clean energy transition.”

EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said that the EU has “sufficient amounts of gas” for the remaining weeks of this winter but that “we need to replenish our reserves urgently for next year.” 

“The Commission will therefore propose that by 1 October, gas storage in the EU has to be filled up to at least 90%,” she added.

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