(Santo Domingo) The European Union seeks to avoid being dependent on China as it has been on Russian gas, said Saturday the head of diplomacy of the 27, Josep Borrell, calling for strengthening trade with the ‘Latin America.
“We discovered that dependencies, which were building blocks of peace, are also weapons that can be turned against us,” Borrell said, pointing to Europe’s “overreliance on Russian gas.”
This was highlighted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as Moscow restricted its gas deliveries to Europe and forced the continent to find other supply routes.
According to him, this dependence “led to (Vladimir) Putin thinking that he could invade Ukraine with complete impunity because Europe, prisoner of our consumption of gas, 40% of which comes from Russia, would not react”.
“We want to avoid our relationship with China making us as dependent as we have been on Russia,” he said during his speech at the Ibero-American Summit in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
EU foreign policy chief calls 2023 a “key year” for striking deals elsewhere, including with Latin America, ahead of EU-Community of Latin American and Caribbean States summit (CELAC) mid-July.
“Europe and Latin America have the opportunity to show that their commercial relationship is always a source of progress,” Borrell continued, adding that European investment in Latin America is higher than in Russia, China , India and Japan “combined”.
According to a report by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), 36% of the $142 billion in foreign investment in the region came from Europe in 2021.