The United States and the European Union said Friday that they are working to achieve alternative sources of natural gas for Europe with which to face possible retaliation from Russia, the region's main gas supplier, against sanctions for a possible invasion of Ukraine.
"The United States and the EU are working together to ensure a continuous, sufficient and timely supply of gas to the EU through different sources in the world to avoid supply disruptions," says a joint statement from US President Joe Biden and Chief of the European Union Ursula von der Leyen.
Among the expected disturbances "are included those that could result from a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine," they explained.
🇪🇺🇺🇸 @POTUS and I are intensifying our cooperation for the energy security of the EU and its neighbourhood.
The US is our largest LNG supplier.
We will work to ensure reliable supply of natural gas to the EU to avoid shocks in case of a further Russian invasion of Ukraine.
– Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) January 28, 2022
“The United States is already the main supplier of liquefied natural gas to the EU.
We collaborate with governments and market operators to achieve the supply of additional volumes of natural gas to Europe from various sources around the world, "adds the text.
They also state that such efforts "have already begun" and will continue at a meeting between Americans and Europeans on the issue on February 7.
Westerners accuse Moscow of preparing a potential offensive against Ukraine and threaten unprecedented sanctions if it is carried out. Washington has notably stated that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, now completed but not yet operational, would not be activated in the event of an attack.
But Americans and Europeans fear that the Kremlin, in possible retaliation, will drastically reduce the supply of hydrocarbons to Europe, vital for many countries.
In the statement, Biden and von der Leyen say they also "share the goal of ensuring Ukraine's energy security and Ukraine's progressive integration into the EU gas and electricity markets."
And they emphasize that the "current challenges" linked to the threat of conflict in Europe highlight the need to "accelerate" the transition to "clean energy".
"We call on all major energy-producing countries to join us in ensuring that global energy markets remain stable and well-supplied," they conclude.