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Von Der Leyen Says EU Must Prepare For 'Worst' On Russian Gas Supplies.

Landfall facilities of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline in Lubmin, Germany (file photo)

Landfall facilities of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline in Lubmin, Germany (file photo)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has warned that Europe must prepare for the "worst situation" with regard to Russian gas supplies.

"Since Russia has already completely or partially cut off gas supplies to 12 [EU] member countries, we must all prepare for the worst situation," von der Leyen told El Mundo, a Spanish-language newspaper.

Russia has suspended gas deliveries to several EU countries for their refusal to pay for delivery in rubles, a demand that European countries have said is linked to Kremlin attempts to ease the impact of Western sanctions on Russia over its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has also lowered deliveries of gas to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline over a maintenance issue that Germany has said has been manufactured by Russia as retaliation for Western sanctions.

Mounting concerns about Russia’s reduction of gas deliveries drove the bloc last week to agree an emergency plan to curb gas consumption and meet winter supply needs.

Von der Leyen called this "a decisive and unprecedented step” taken in just one week to counter Russian President Vladimir Putin's threat to cut off gas supplies completely.

Spain initially opposed the emergency plan but approved it after securing concessions.

Von der Leyen, who answered El Mundo’s questions in an e-mail response, welcomed the Spanish government's decision, saying, "Once again, this is about European solidarity."

Based on reporting by dpa

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