EU, US pledge gas cooperation as tensions rise over Ukraine

(EurActiv, 8 Feb 2022) The United States and the European Union pledged on Monday (7 February) to work to ensure gas supplies can respond to disruptions in pipeline gas flows, as tensions rise over the massing of troops on Ukraine’s borders by Russia, Europe’s biggest gas supplier.

“We’re working together right now to protect Europe’s energy supply against supply shocks, including those that could result from further Russian aggression against Ukraine,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters in Washington, alongside Josep Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief.

Europe’s dependence on Russian gas has come under scrutiny in recent months as lower than expected supply from Russia and rising tensions over Moscow’s build-up of more than 100,000 troops on its borders with Ukraine have helped to push prices to record highs.

Russia provides about 40% of Europe’s natural gas.

Blinken said the coordination with allies and partners includes “how best to share energy reserves in the event that Russia turns off the spigot, or initiates a conflict that disrupts the flow of gas through Ukraine”.

Borrell said the immediate priority is to diversify sources of energy and gas flows to avoid supply disruption and “ensure that the world energy markets will be liquid, competitive and well supplied”.

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EurActiv, 8 Feb 2022: EU, US pledge gas cooperation as tensions rise over Ukraine