EU Leaders Tackle Inflation, Energy Shocks Caused By Russia
The European Union (EU) leaders switched their attention Friday, June 24, 2022, a day after adopting Ukraine's candidacy for membership in the bloc, to the severe economic upheaval predicted over the following months as the full impact of Russia's war sinks in and the possibility of recession grows.
Photo Insert: The EU's 27 leaders met in Brussels to address rising prices, energy shocks, diminishing business and consumer confidence, and mounting budgetary strains.
The EU's 27 leaders met in Brussels to address rising prices, energy shocks, diminishing business and consumer confidence, and mounting budgetary strains, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Leaders will also face increased borrowing costs as the European Central Bank (ECB) prepares to boost interest rates for the first time in 11 years to combat price inflation. Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, attended the EU conference to examine the deteriorating economic picture.
On her approach into the session, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said, "We are in a difficult situation... It's very important that we have this discussion."
The EU has spent the last decade dealing with a succession of crises, from Greece's financial troubles and transatlantic trade conflicts under former US President Donald Trump to Britain's exit from the bloc and the COVID-19 epidemic.
With no end in sight to the Ukraine conflict and the EU vowing to ratchet up sanctions against Russia as revenge, the bloc must fight economic threats on numerous fronts.
Energy is a big concern for the EU, which has relied largely on Russian oil, natural gas, and coal for many years to power cars, factories, heating systems, and power plants. To keep up with American and British sanctions against Russia, the EU has broadened what were already unprecedented measures by targeting Russian energy since April.
A restriction on Russian coal imports will go into effect in August, while an embargo on most Russian oil will be phased in over the next eight months.