Russia’s decision to stop delivering gas to customers in Europe is “an instrument of blackmail”, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen says.

The move is “unjustified and unacceptable” and shows the unreliability of Russia as a gas supplier, she adds.

She says EU member states have contingency plans in place for this scenario and the European Commission is in close contact with them to ensure alternative deliveries and the best possible storage levels across the bloc.

A meeting of the gas coordination group is taking place now to map out the EU’s coordinated response, von der Leyen adds.

“We will also continue working with international partners to secure alternative flows – and I will continue working with European and world leaders to ensure the security of energy supply in Europe,” she says.

“Europeans can count on our full support.”

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