EU leaders endorse $321B plan to replace Russian fossil fuels

EU leaders discuss proposals on energy transition, defense reforms, food security on 2nd day of summit.

EU leaders endorse $321B plan to replace Russian fossil fuels

EU leaders endorsed on Tuesday the European Commission’s €300 billion ($321 billion) plan on replacing Russian fossil fuels.

Speaking at a news conference following the two-day special EU summit, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, praised the decisions to “phase out “the dependency on fossil fuels as soon as possible.”

She explained that the REPowerEU plan aims to branch out from Russian fossil fuel by joint purchases, securing gas supply through better interconnections, and generate a “massive investment in renewables.”

After discussions with EU leaders, the European Commission is proposing to “support it with €300 billion from EU funding,” she asserted.

The announcement comes after EU leaders reached a political agreement on the sixth sanctions package against Russia, which includes banning 90% of Russian oil imports by the end of this year.

The European Commission head said Russia's war on Ukraine is “a stark reminder of the need to strengthen EU defense capacities.”

She said the European Commission will set up a task force to coordinate military investments to avoid duplications, and will also support joint procurements from the EU budget.

Von der Leyen also welcomed Sweden and Finland's bids to join NATO, saying that the “strongest military alliance in the world” will “benefit greatly from their membership.”

The 27 EU heads of state and government also addressed the consequences of the war on global food supply.

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said the EU supports measures to “avert this potentially serious crisis for a number of countries that can have a harmful effect in Africa but also in Europe.”

Hüseyin Demir