EU needs to keep increasing pressure on Russia - von der Leyen

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson give a joint news conference in Kiruna

KIRUNA, Sweden (Reuters) - The European Union needs to keep increasing pressure on Russia and supporting Ukraine, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday.

"We need to keep increasing the pressure on Russia and we will continue, of course, our unwavering support for Ukraine," she told a news conference.

At the start of Sweden's six-month presidency of the European Union, von der Leyen said that Russia had cut 80% of gas supplies to the EU in eight months since the start of conflict in Ukraine, but that the EU had compensated by diversifying.

"Hard work has paid off. Gas prices are lower now than before Russia's invasion," she said told the joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson in Kiruna, Sweden.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, writing by GV De Clercq; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)