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EU backs joint purchases to replace Russian gas

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(Bloomberg) — European Union leaders have backed the idea of ​​member states joining forces to buy natural gas to replenish depleted reserves and fetch lower prices in a tight market.

The political decision taken at a summit in Brussels on Friday paves the way for the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, and interested states to start planning collective bargaining with international partners. The bloc will seek to replace nearly two-thirds of gas imports from Russia, its biggest supplier, this year following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The energy mix and the concrete situation of our members is very different, but we have to work together to unite our strength,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told a news conference after the two-member summit. day “We have enormous purchasing power. Therefore, I am pleased that we are now using our collective bargaining power. Instead of outbid us, raising prices, we will pool our demand”.

Flows from Russia may be eliminated by increased renewable energy and greater energy efficiency, as well as imports of pipeline gas and liquefied natural gas from other countries, according to the commission. To that end, the commission should require earlier this week to create a working group on common gas purchases at the EU level.

Bundling demand would help secure affordable LNG, gas and hydrogen in partnerships with suppliers in the Mediterranean region, Africa, the Middle East and the US.

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EU leaders back joint purchases to replace Russian gas supply

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