The unity of Europe is being tested by the uncertainties about gas supplies from Russia. At least, that’s what German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock thinks. According to her, the European Union is facing a severe test this winter regarding the solidarity of the country bloc.
Several top politicians, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, have accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of using energy supplies as a weapon to divide the EU. Baerbock underlined the importance of a united front against Moscow.
The 27 members of the EU are trying to avoid tensions that divided member states in the wake of the financial crisis. “The elephant in the room is the energy issue,” said Baerbock.
The gas price shot up on the leading gas exchange in Amsterdam on Monday after the decision by the Russian state gas group Gazprom to suspend deliveries via the important pipeline Nord Stream 1 for longer. There are fears that Gazprom may not resume gas deliveries through the pipeline at all.
A spokesman for the German government said the soaring gas price is an “intended consequence” of keeping Nord Stream 1 closed for longer. Berlin said it would do everything it can to get through the winter, even without Russian gas, but acknowledges that “difficult months” are coming up.
The German government announced on Sunday that it would come up with a new support package of more than 65 billion euros to help households with high inflation and sharply increased energy costs.