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EU urges member countries to cut gas usage to protect against Russian ‘blackmail’

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a media conference after a meeting of the College of Commissioners at EU headquarters in Brussels, June 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a media conference after a meeting of the College of Commissioners at EU headquarters in Brussels, June 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

The European Commission urges EU countries to reduce their demand for natural gas by 15 percent over the coming winter months to overcome Russia’s energy supply “blackmail.”

In a statement, the EU’s executive arm also asks member states to give it special powers to force through needed demand cuts if Russia cuts the Europe’s gas lifeline.

“Russia is blackmailing us. Russia is using energy as a weapon and therefore, in any event, whether it’s a partial major cut off of Russian gas or total cut off… Europe needs to be ready,” Commission president Ursula von der Leyen tells reporters.

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