Biden and EU Von der Leyen release joint statement on European energy security in Russia’s tensions


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

A statement released on 28 January announces a joint commitment to “gradual integration of Ukraine and the EU gas and electricity markets”. It also renewed its commitment to carbon emission reduction targets in the Paris Climate Agreement, described efforts to avoid possible “supply shocks” from further Russian invasion of Ukraine, and described all major energy production. Call on countries to help secure the world’s energy The market is stable and well-supplied.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have led to concerns about Europe’s dependence on Russia’s gas. Russia has gathered tens of thousands of troops along the border with Ukraine and in Crimea and Belarus annexed by Russia.

Russia denied planning an invasion and pointed out the Western response as evidence that Russia was the target of the invasion and not the instigator.

And at a press conference on Friday in Kiev, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the mass media and Western leaders to ease the rhetoric suggesting an imminent Russian invasion.

“The image that the mass media creates is that we have troops on the roads, mobilized, and people are away. It’s not,” Zelensky said. “I don’t need this panic.”

Zelensky has been acknowledging Russia’s escalations for the past few weeks, but states that “we have been discussing this for eight years.”

Zelensky added that the story of the war is having a negative impact on the Ukrainian economy.

“I started talking to national leaders and explained to them that the economy needed to be stable,” he explained. “They say,’Tomorrow is a war.’ This means panic. Calm market panic in the financial sector.”

US officials have repeatedly stated that Russian military movements at the Ukrainian border suggest that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine can occur “at any time.”

The United States is the largest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the EU, but Europe depends on Russia for about one-third of its natural gas.

According to a statement on Friday, the United States and the EU will strive to find additional natural gas supplies to Europe from various sources around the world. The government says it will do this while continuing to “enable a transition to net zero emissions.”

Biden administration officials said earlier this week that the United States is negotiating with the world’s major energy producers and companies to discuss the possibility of diversion of supply to Europe if Russia invades Ukraine.

Biden stated that the United States had no intention of sending troops to Ukraine, Pentagon officials confirmed. At the beginning of the week, the United States deployed an army of 8,500 troops in “preparation for deployment” when needed to support eastern NATO countries.

The United States, in cooperation with its European allies, threatens to impose sanctions on Russia if it invades Ukraine further.

Sanctions against Russia can affect the flow of gas through pipelines such as Yamal-Europe, Nord Stream 1, and Turk Stream.

Nord Stream 2 is waiting for approval before adding Russian gas to Germany. Germany has stagnated the approval process, and US officials say it is unlikely that gas will pass through Nord Stream 2 if Russia invades Ukraine.

Nick Ciolino

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Nick Ciolino covers the White House.