Conflicts & War

Moscow weaponizing trade to blackmail Europe, Zelenskyy says

Kyiv, Apr 28 (EFE).- Russia is weaponizing trade to blackmail Europe, Ukraine’s president said Thursday in a video posted to his Telegram account.

“This week, Russia’s leadership launched a new series of energy blackmail of Europeans,” Voloymyr Zelenskyy said.

Russian state energy company Gazprom on Wednesday cut off natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria due to their refusal to pay in rubles, a demand of Moscow that most European countries reject.

“The decision to cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria is another argument in favor of the fact that no one in Europe can hope to maintain any normal economic cooperation with Russia,” he continued.

Moscow “considers not only gas, but any trade as a weapon. It is just waiting for the moment when one or another trade area can be used to blackmail Europeans politically. Or to strengthen Russia’s military machine, which sees a united Europe as a target,” Zelenskyy added.

The EU also dismissed Russia’s move to cut natural gas supplies as blackmail and warned Moscow that Europe has other alternatives.

“The sooner everyone in Europe admits that it is inadmissible to depend on Russia in trade, the sooner it will be possible to guarantee stability in European markets,” Zelenskyy said.

On Wednesday in Chile, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, said that Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas has “gone too far” and that Moscow cutting off supplies to EU countries “will only accelerate Europe’s conversion to green energies that do not create dependencies and that do not harm the climate.” EFE


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