European sanctions “are hitting the Russian economy hard and deep,” Ursula von der Leyen claims. The President of the European Commission spoke to a Hungarian news portal about the energy situation in the EU.
Ursula von der Leyen stood by the European Commission’s decisions in an interview with Hungarian business news portal Portfolio.
The president of the European Commission stressed that their recent gas market regulation proposal is a decisive step to counter Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat that Russian gas supplies could be stopped completely.
In response to a question about the Hungarian government’s planned ban on energy exports, Von der Leyen said that unilateral measures are likely to aggravate the situation rather than contribute to solving the problems. According to the German official, the real solution is solidarity between Member States, because the crisis deserves a European response. “This is the driving force of the EU: ultimately, in every crisis, we all benefit from solidarity with each other. We are stronger than the simple sum of the 27 Member States,” Von der Leyen added.
She mentioned that the Commission is in contact with the Hungarian authorities to better understand the country’s emergency plan and its implications for neighboring Member States.
Ursula von der Leyen rejected criticism questioning the efficiency of the sanctions. According to the Commission president, the sanctions are “hitting the Russian economy hard and deep.” She stressed that the EU will “keep up the pressure on the Kremlin as long as necessary.”
Not everyone shares Von der Leyen’s optimism regarding the sanctions. In his recent speech at the Tusványos summer camp, Viktor Orbán claimed that “sanctions are not destabilizing Moscow” but are instead causing serious problems for Europe. “Europe is in trouble: economic trouble, but also political trouble, with governments falling like dominoes. Just since the outbreak of the war, the British, the Italian, the Bulgarian and the Estonian governments have fallen. And autumn is still ahead of us. The big price increase came in June when energy prices doubled. The effects of this on people’s lives, which are creating discontent, are only just beginning to arrive, and we have already lost four governments,” he argued.
According to Politico, “Western sanctions are hurting Russia’s economy but the Kremlin’s war chest is still brimming with cash thanks to soaring commodity prices.” According to Kremlin estimates reported by the Russian daily Vedomosti: “Russian exports of oil, gas, and metals fell significantly last month as sanctions announcements spooked international buyers, but rising prices muted the impact on state revenues.”
Featured photo via the European Parliament