Problems with gas supplies from Russia are currently affecting 12 EU countries to some extent, said the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, pointing to the need to be prepared for possible disruptions in the future.
"Russia has reduced or interrupted the gas supply to 12 EU countries. We must prepare for further disruptions or even a complete cessation of the Russian gas supply," she said in an interview published Saturday in the Portuguese newspaper Diário de Notícias.
At the same time, she said, "in the first semester of 2022, we purchased 38 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and these volumes more than offset the reduction of Russian gas supplies by 28 billion cubic meters.
Von der Leyen also noted that "the EU is receiving more and more gas from Norway, the Gulf states, Algeria and the Caspian Sea region, and the results are already visible".
"The EU's collective agreement to reduce gas consumption by 15 percent is also significant. It will help to create reserves in anticipation of winter," added the head of the European Commission.
As for the Iberian Peninsula, she said, "with a joint effort, it could become a platform for the delivery of LNG from Africa and America to the EU.
"In order to use the full potential of Portugal and Spain, it is necessary to develop gas transport links between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe; right now they are not enough. This would be the truest expression of European solidarity in action," von der Leyen said.
"I believe that the spirit of unity and solidarity that helped us in the face of the pandemic will also help us overcome these difficulties," the EC head added.