December 7, 2023

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Both Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi jointly condemned Vladimir Putin’s continued aggression against Ukraine. They are due to discuss that conflict and the EU’s response as well as efforts to diversify European energy resources.

“The European Union has shown an extraordinary degree of unity and we stand united in defending Ukraine against the invasion by Russia,” Draghi said. “We stand united in imposing sanctions against Moscow. We stand united in responding to the appeal from President Zelenskyy, who has requested humanitarian, financial and military aid to defend his country from the Russian military invasion.”

This conference comes just one day before the Commission is due to announce a proposal aimed at ensuring more clean, affordable and sustainable energy. The proposal has two main tenets, reducing emissions and reducing the EU’s reliance on gas imports. As sanctions against Russia over Ukraine continue to impact EU gas prices, the Commission supports more energy production in the EU through renewable means. 

“In essence, we are going to discuss diversification, reorganization and compensation,” Draghi said. “Italy is committed to a quick reduction in our dependence on Russian gas.”

Both carbon and gas prices have been rising steadily, which has led some European energy suppliers to default and placed huge costs on some energy intensive sectors. The new Commission proposal will likely offer government support to energy companies as well as facilitate the production of newer renewable energy sources.

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