Sunday, May 28, 2023

Biden and EU von der Leyen issue joint statement on Europe’s energy security amid tensions in Russia

On Friday, President Joe Biden issued a joint statement with EU President Ursula von der Leyen to take action to secure energy supplies to Europe, which is heavily dependent on natural gas from Russia.

The statement, released on January 28, speaks of a joint commitment to “Ukraine’s gradual integration with the EU gas and electricity markets.” It also reaffirms commitment to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce carbon emissions, outlines efforts to avert “supply shocks” that could result from further Russian encroachment on Ukraine, and calls on all major energy producing countries to help provide global energy. markets are stable and well stocked.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have raised concerns about Europe’s dependence on Russian gas. Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops along its border with Ukraine and in Russia-annexed Crimea and Belarus.

Russia denies planning an invasion and points to the Western reaction as evidence that Russia is the target, not the instigator, of the aggression.

And at a press conference in Kiev on Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged media and Western leaders to tone down rhetoric suggesting an imminent Russian invasion.

“The image created by the media is that we have troops on the roads, we are mobilizing, people are leaving their places. This is not so,” Zelensky said. “We don’t need this panic.”

Zelenskiy went on to acknowledge the escalation by Russia in recent weeks, but noted that “we’ve been talking about this for eight years.”

Zelensky added that talk of war had a negative impact on the Ukrainian economy.

“I started talking to the leaders of the countries and explaining to them that we need to stabilize the economy,” he explained. “They say: “Tomorrow is war.” It means panic. Calm the market panic in the financial sector.”

US officials have repeatedly said that the movement of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine suggests that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could happen “at any time.”

The United States is the EU’s largest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), but Europe relies on Russia for about a third of its natural gas.

Friday’s statement said the United States and the EU will work to find more natural gas to Europe from a variety of sources around the world. Governments say they will do so by continuing to “ensure the transition to net zero emissions.”

The United States is in talks with major energy producing countries and companies around the world to discuss the potential diversion of supplies to Europe if Russia invades Ukraine, a senior Biden administration official told reporters earlier this week.

Biden has said, and Defense Department officials have confirmed, that the United States has no intention of sending troops to Ukraine. Earlier this week, the United States placed 8,500 troops on “deployment standby” if needed to support eastern NATO nations.

The United States has threatened that, in coordination with its allies in Europe, it will impose sanctions on Russia if it continues to invade Ukraine.

Sanctions against Russia could affect gas flows through pipelines such as Yamal-Europe, Nord Stream 1 and Turkish Stream.

Nord Stream 2 is awaiting approval before it brings additional Russian gas to Germany. Germany has stalled the approval process, and US officials have said the gas is unlikely to flow through Nord Stream 2 if Russia invades Ukraine.

To follow

Nick Ciolino lights up the White House.


World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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