EU is seeking alternatives to break free from Russian fossil fuels

Brussels will unveil new plans on Tuesday to ditch Russian fossil fuels to achieve greater energy independence following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The strategy includes targeting new suppliers, speeding up the green transition and setting mandatory gas storage levels across the bloc.

“Diversification, reorganisation, and compensation, to protect citizens and companies. Italy is working to reduce dependency on Russian gas as fast as possible,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Monday following a meeting in Brussels with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

“On Saturday, I spoke on the phone with Emir Al Thani of Qatar, with whom I discussed, in particular, how to strengthen energy cooperation between our countries.”

But how can Europe support businesses and households already struggling with soaring prices?

Simone Tagliapietra, a Senior Fellow at Bruegel, says a new European tool is needed.

“In the short term, our citizens, our enterprises will be hugely affected, and really, they are already hugely affected by all this,” Tagliapietra told Euronews.

“Let’s remember that high energy prices have been there for a long time now, several months.”

“I think we need a new European instrument because different countries here will be affected differently. There are countries that are more exposed to Russian gas, that will suffer more than countries that are not dependent on Russian gas, or not dependent on gas at all,” Tagliapietra said.

According to the European Commission, Russia supplies around 40% of the bloc’s natural gas.