“We have been able to really fence off the blackmail of Russia concerning gas”. This was stated by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in her speech at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. “Putin decided to cut 80% of the gas supply, and this was a big strategic mistake. We freed ourselves from his grip. That we came through this winter safely is first and foremost the result of unity” and of our “collective hard work. And I think we should take pride in this. So, for this winter, we are safe. But we are not out of the woods yet. We now have to prepare for next winter”, she added. “Our joint efforts are paying off. Gas prices are now lower than they were before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Prices for Dutch TTF have dropped more than 80% since August. We have been able to replace most of the Russian fossil fuels. Our gas storages are still over 80% full. This is among the highest levels ever for this time of the year”, she said. The President of the EU Commission went on to explain that the “Energy Platform is up and running. With the support of Member States and European industry, we are creating a European consortium that will allow us to aggregate demand and effectively leverage the EU’s political and market weight. Now, we aim at launching negotiations with the key international gas suppliers already in early spring with the aim to conclude first joint contracts well before summer”.