The reckoning will come in the winter, which will be the harshest in decades, the Romanian deputy PM has said
Europe will have to pay a heavy price for its sanctions on Russia, as this year, the continent could experience the harshest winter in decades, Romanian Deputy Prime Minister Hunor Kelemen told B1 TV on Wednesday.
“First of all, we, the European Union, will have to pay for the sanctions against Russia… Truth be told, we will all pay the price this winter while, unfortunately, there are no signs that the end of war is near… It will be a harsh winter, perhaps the harshest one in the last 40-50-60 years,” he told the outlet.
According to Kelemen, Ukraine’s conflict with Russia will last longer than anticipated, and it will take a toll on Europe. The deputy PM, however, defended the sanctions imposed by the West in response to Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, saying Europe “did not have any other leverage.”
Despite the economic woes plaguing the EU, Kelemen tried to strike an optimistic tone, saying Romania will be able to cope with the energy issues.
“We can cover about 80% of Romania’s needs in natural gas, but we will have to buy about 2 billion cubic meters on the market. If not, we will certainly face some problems, but I am convinced that we will buy gas, we will have electricity, and this compensation will allow us to get through the winter,” he explained.
Amid the Ukraine conflict, the EU imposed sweeping sanction on Russia, including a ban on Russian oil delivered by sea. The bloc also vowed to cut its dependence on natural gas from Russia.
On Monday, Russian energy giant Gazprom suspended operations of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline due to planned maintenance, which is set to be complete by late July. In mid-June, the flow of gas through the major conduit was slashed to 40% of its capacity due to operational challenges caused by the failure to return a serviced turbine from Canada due to the sanctions.
As a result, all of these factors have exacerbated Europe’s energy crunch.