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The United States and the European Union have announced a new partnership to undermine Russian energy

BRUSSELS – The United States and the European Union on Friday announced a new partnership to reduce the continent’s dependence on Russian energy, launching a long-running initiative to further isolate Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine.

As part of the plan, the United States and other nations will increase liquefied natural gas exports to Europe by 15 billion cubic meters this year, the White House said. Even larger shipments will be delivered in the future.

At the same time, they will try to maintain their climate goals by supplying gas infrastructure with clean energy and reducing methane leaks, which could worsen global warming.

Although the initiative is likely to require new liquefied natural gas imports, the partnership also aims to reduce long-term dependence on fossil fuels through energy efficiency and alternative energy sources, according to the White House.

US President Joe Biden had to discuss the issue with Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Union’s executive branch, before leaving for Poland, the final stage of his four-day trip.

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Earlier this week, Von der Layen said that “we aim to commit to additional supplies for the next two winters.” And Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, recently told reporters that the administration wanted to “transfer” gas to Europe quickly.

Russian energy is a key source of income and a political lever for Moscow. Almost 40% of natural gas in the European Union comes from Russia for home heating, electricity generation and the energy industry.

After leaving Brussels, Biden left for Rzeszow in Poland, where US troops are based about an hour’s drive from the Ukrainian border. He will be briefed on the humanitarian response of refugees fleeing Ukraine and those still suffering in the country. He will also meet with US servicemen from the 82nd Airborne Division, who are serving alongside Polish troops.

Biden is then expected to fly to Warsaw for talks with Polish President Andrzej Duda on Saturday. Biden also plans to deliver a speech in Poland before leaving for Washington.

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While in Brussels, Biden attended three summits organized by NATO, the Group of Seven industrialized nations and the European Union, all on Thursday. The extraordinary series of meetings reflects growing concerns about the war in Ukraine, which has entered its second month.

Although Ukraine has resisted the Russian invasion much more successfully than originally expected, the conflict has become a grueling and bloody affair, with thousands of victims on each side and millions of refugees fleeing the country.

Western leaders are also concerned that Russian President Vladimir Putin could use chemical or even nuclear weapons to regain momentum in the war.

Delivering more liquefied natural gas to Europe can be difficult, although the United States has dramatically increased its exports in recent years. Many export facilities are already operating at capacity, and most new terminals are still in the planning stages.

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Most shipments from the United States are already going to Europe, according to the Liquefied Natural Gas Center, an industry lobbyist. Although much of the supply has already been agreed for buyers, there is still room for relocation.

“The United States is in a unique position because it has flexible LNG that can be diverted to Europe or Asia, depending on who is willing to pay that price,” said Emily McClain, a gas market analyst at Rystad.

Even if the United States can supply more gas to Europe, the continent may be struggling to get it. Import terminals are located in coastal areas, where there are fewer pipelines for its distribution.

Even if all facilities in Europe operate at capacity, the amount of gas is likely to be only about two-thirds of what Russia supplies through pipelines.

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Busewitz reported from New York.

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

The United States and the European Union have announced a new partnership to undermine Russian energy

Source link The United States and the European Union have announced a new partnership to undermine Russian energy

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