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The EU is paying 35 times as much for Russian fuel as it's given Ukraine for defense, chief diplomat says

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Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin.Alexey Nikolsky/Getty Images
  • The EU's foreign policy chief said the EU pays Russia more for fuel than it's sent to Ukraine.

  • He said that since the invasion, the EU had given Russia 35 billion euros for fuel, and 1 billion euros to Ukraine.

  • Europe relies heavily on Russian fuel for energy, and the EU is trying to find ways to change that.

The amount of money the European Union has given Russia for fuel since its invasion is 35 times more than what it's given Ukraine for defense, the bloc's foreign policy chief said.

Josep Borrell told the European Parliament on Wednesday that since the invasion, the bloc had paid Russia 35 billion euros ($38 billion) for fuel and sent Ukraine 1 billion euros ($1.09 billion) to bolster its defense against Russia, the BBC reported.

"We have to help [the Ukrainians] defend themselves ... We have given Ukraine 1 billion euros. It might seem a lot but 1 billion euros is what we pay Putin every day for the energy he provides us," he said, according to the BBC.

The EU has imposed heavy sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

But Europe relies heavily on Russian fuel for energy, which means its actions against Russia are limited unless countries put their own energy supplies, and economies, at risk.

The European Commission announced on Tuesday that the EU would reduce its reliance on Russian gas by two thirds by next year.

The EU is also proposing a ban on Russian coal as part of its fifth round of sanctions against Russia, as well as considering restrictions against oil imports.

But, as Insider's Huileng Tan reported, the EU did not mention natural gas as part of this.

The sanctions are expected to be announced later this week.

Read the original article on Business Insider