An exceptional European Union (EU) Council meeting on energy is held in Brussels, Belgium, July 26, 2022. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)
An embargo on Russian gas in the EU is "impossible" due to EU countries' heavy dependence on Russian energy, said Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, when meeting with visiting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Vienna.
VIENNA, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said on Thursday that an embargo on Russian gas in the European Union (EU) is "impossible" due to EU countries' heavy dependence on Russian energy.
Nehammer's comments came after a meeting with visiting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Vienna.
According to Austrian news agency APA, Nehammer said at a press conference that Germany and Austria's dependence on Russian gas makes an EU embargo "impossible," as the decline of the German economy would also impact Austria and lead to mass unemployment.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a press conference in Brussels, Belgium, July 20, 2022. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)
On Tuesday, EU member states agreed on a 15-percent voluntary reduction of natural gas demand from the average of 2017-2021, in preparation for possible supply disruptions this winter.
At the press conference, Nehammer also criticized the EU's slowness in establishing a joint energy purchase mechanism.
A common energy platform is now more important than ever to avoid competition between EU countries, he said.
"We are seeing many announcements by the European Commission but very little implementation," he added.
Gas pipes are seen at a natural gas storage facility operated by Hungarian Gas Storage Ltd. in the village of Zsana, Hungary, May 20, 2022. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)■