The war in Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions against Russia could harm Europe’s energy supplies and stall its economic growth, European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni warned on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, he said Europe may encounter problems in the supply of energy resources – more precisely, the supply of Russian gas – and needs to be ready for such an outcome.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will likely impact growth negatively, including through repercussions on financial markets, further energy price pressures, more persistent supply chain bottlenecks, and confidence effects that we should not under-evaluate,” Gentiloni added.
His statement comes after the EU’s statistical office, Eurostat, reported on Wednesday that inflation within the bloc had soared to a new high of 5.8% in February.
Earlier, the European Commission also issued a statement outlining the negative impact of anti-Russian sanctions on the economic situation of member states.
Russia is the EU’s largest supplier of energy resources, meeting some 40% of its natural gas demand and supplying nearly a third of its crude oil imports.
Its oil and gas industries have not yet been added to the sanctions list, but on March 1, members of the European Parliament approved a resolution condemning its military offensive in Ukraine.
They called for tougher sanctions, including limiting oil and gas imports and completely cutting the country off from the SWIFT international system of inter-bank payments.