European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said the EU is “working hard” on a plan to hit Vladimir Putin’s regime with a new package of sanctions as the bloc seeks to end its reliance on Russian fossil fuels .
Von der Leyen made the statement in a statement to reporters in Brussels after the Kremlin announced it would halt gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland.
“The sixth package of sanctions will come in time. We are working hard on that,” said von der Leyen. “The step that Russia has taken today is basically a step in which Russia harms itself. The Kremlin harms the Russian economy because they cut off important revenues.
“Nevertheless, not only are we working hard to get rid of coal, as we have already done, but we are also working on the oil issue. And you saw today the question of gas dependence on Russia. We’ve been working for months to reduce this dependency. That is now paying off.”
Von der Leyen said Poland and Bulgaria receive gas supplies from their immediate EU neighbors, adding that the bloc will continue to build storage capacity and work to secure alternative supplies from other parts of the world.
EU diplomats meet on Wednesday to discuss the Ukraine crisis, including the topic of the next package of sanctions against Russia.
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