European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen: Russia Pushing Us to Renewable Energy

May 25, 2022

Interview starts at 1:47.

Clear, well spoken and impressive.


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told CNBC on Tuesday that she’s hoping an agreement to sanction Russian oil will be reached in the coming days.

The 27 EU countries have been stuck over an oil embargo on Russia for several weeks, with countries such as Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic blocking the measure. Any sanctions imposed by the EU need to have the approval of all member states in order to be implemented.

“I hope we are talking about days. So what we are looking at is one or two member states that are landlocked, so cannot have oil via the sea and need alternatives in pipelines and in refineries, and there we are trying to find solutions,” von der Leyen said at the World Economic Forum.

“We are working on the oil embargo very hard,” she added. 

The EU decided to block imports of Russian coal last month, but imposing restrictions on oil has proven a much more complicated task. Countries that are highly dependent on Russian fossil fuels are concerned about the implications of such measures for their own economies.

Hungary, for example, is reportedly asking for financial support of between 15 billion and 18 billion euros ($16 billion and $19 billion) to move away from Russian energy. Hungary will also reportedly refuse to discuss the matter at an upcoming EU meeting later this month.


3 Responses to “European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen: Russia Pushing Us to Renewable Energy”

  1. John Kane Says:

    We are working on the oil embargo very hard,

    The natural gas embargo is working well /s

    There probably is a good chance, though that Russia’s Special Military Operation will spur development of renewables. Germany industry, alone, seems to be in shock. German industry also may be after Von Der Leyen’s head.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      My takeaway is that Putin shot himself in the foot when he overestimated his fossil-fuel hold over Europe (and electricity supply in Finland). The immediate negotiation dithering and shifting around matters less to me than that political weaseling to keep their voters happy by keeping energy prices stable is largely ended by the grass-roots objection to dependence on Russia.

      • John Oneill Says:

        Estonia and Latvia are still trading power with Russia, and Lithuania is sending some to Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave. Those countries are all in Nato, so singling out Finland looks petty – especially with Putin now claiming he doesn’t have a problem with Finland joining.

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