President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, speaking by video to a major policy conference in Qatar on Saturday, urged that nation and other energy producers to increase their gas exports to Europe as part of a drive to reduce the continent’s reliance on Russian fossil fuels.
“The future of Europe rests with your efforts,” Mr. Zelensky said in a virtual address to the Doha Forum in Qatar, which is one of the world’s largest exporters of gas. “I urge you to increase energy production so that Russia understands that no state should use energy as a weapon to blackmail the world.”
Last year, 38 percent of the natural gas used by the European Union came from Russia, according to Bruegel, a research organization. Moves by the bloc to wean itself off that supply is vital to a broader Western effort to punish Moscow, a major oil and gas producer, for its invasion of Ukraine.
The United States banned imports of Russian energy on March 8, and European nations have pledged to gradually follow suit. In Germany, which has been Moscow’s most important natural gas customer, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said last month that the country would halt certification of the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline that would link his country with Russia.