A European Union plan to require the bloc's members to use less gas shows Russian President Vladimir Putin that they are united, even if they have compromised to find common ground, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Tuesday.

"Of course, there are a lot of compromises in this text now. This is the way Europe operates," Habeck told reporters in Brussels.

"It's a very important next step. It shows that Europe stays united, that Europe is able to find unity," he said, adding that the plan sent a signal to "Putin and to Russia: 'you won't split us'." (Writing by Paul Carrel, editing by Rachel More)