European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has expressed her view that EU-Russia energy cooperation , including the Nord Stream 2 pipeline currently under construction, will not contribute to the modernisation of Russia and its economy and will not trigger a transformation in the country.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday night and Tuesday summing up the first day of the European Council summit, von der Leyen said, among other things, that “what we see in Russia today is an economy that largely lacks modernisation and is very much dependent on energy revenues.
I believe that such cooperation in the field of energy will not lead to modernisation (of Russia) and will not bring any real change,” she added.
At the same time, the EC chief noted that “Russia and the EU are destined for a common future”.
Justifying this assessment, Ursula von der Leyen recalled that Russia is the EU’s largest neighbour and remains ”a source of trade and investment”.
The issue of relations with Russia was one of the topics discussed during the first day of the European Council.
In its conclusions, the Council condemned Russia’s “illegal, provocative and destructive” actions against the EU and its Member States. It underlined the Union’s unity and solidarity in the face of such acts, as well as its support for its Eastern partners.