Conflicts & War

In bid to reduce reliance on Russian gas, EU turns to US

Brussels, Mar 24 (EFE).- The European Union is to announce a deal to boost supplies of liquified natural gas (LNG) from the United States as the bloc aims to wean itself off Russian energy in response to president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday.

The European Commission president spoke with reporters at an extraordinary EU meeting that tails emergency Nato and G7 summits to discuss the situation with Russia.

The leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan will also be in attendance.

The EU and US president Joe Biden will on Friday unveil a “new chapter in our energy partnership,” von der Leyen said.

“It is about additional LNG from the United States for the European Union, thus replacing the Russian LNG we had so far, an important step forward.

“Of course energy will also be a main topic here in the European Council and here the main goal is joint procurement to really have the European market power and joint storage will also be one of the important topics.”

The Commission chief said the EU, the US, the UK, Canada and Japan have decided to step up support for Ukraine, to “sharpen” sanctions against Russia and “break free from Russian fossil fuels.”

But some EU leaders like Austrian chancellor Karl Nehammer are against imposing sanctions on Russian energy imports.

Nehammer fears these sanctions could have a severe impact on energy supplies in several EU countries as well generate public discontent.

Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo echoed that sentiment and warned that an embargo on Russian energy imports would have a “devastating effect” on the EU.

On a similar note, Luxembourg prime minister, Xavier Bettel, said the EU had to be “very careful” with new sanctions against Russia. EFE


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