By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 25 March 2022 • 13:11
Russia has been supplying around 40 percent of the EU’s gas requirement, a figure that will according to the US Energy Information Administration drop sharply with the US providing around 15 billion cubic metres of the fuel, known as LNG, by the end of the year. That will reduce the bloc’s reliance on Russia by around ten percent, and by 2030 replacing more than a third of the supply from Russia.
The EU is also taking steps to reduce its reliance on gas and in the process increase its generation of renewable energy.
The deal, announced on Friday March 25th, during a three-day visit by US President Joe Biden to Brussels, was welcomed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The pair also discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, offering fresh support to Kyiv with Mr Biden saying: “Putin is using Russia’s energy resources to coerce and manipulate its neighbours,” adding that “He’s used the profits to drive his war machine.”
Mr Biden continued saying that the long term benefits of the deal would outweigh the short term pain that reducing Russian gas supplies would cause: “I know that eliminating Russian gas will have costs for Europe, but it’s not only the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, it’s going to put us on a much stronger strategic footing.”
President von der Leyen said: “We want, as Europeans, to diversify away from Russia towards suppliers that we trust that are friends and that are reliable.”
She added that with this deal the bloc is on track to diversify away from Russian gas.
Prices of LNG are however on the rise and supplies are limited, which means that the EU will need to do much more to promote renewable sources and to become self-sufficient in its energy production. That is something that many experts believe may prove to be difficult.
Clearly there will be a price to pay with the EU having enjoyed cheap gas for many years. The war in Ukraine has however opened they eyes of many politicians who now realise as the EU and US sign their gas deal, the need for the bloc to become less reliant on suppliers outside of their inner circle.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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