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President Joe Biden pledged on Friday to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to do everything possible to increase exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the EU by 67.5% in support of the bloc’s efforts to divest itself of Russian hydrocarbons.
This was explained by the two leaders at a joint press conference that coincides with the second day of the summit of heads of state and government of the bloc, in which the EU-27 will discuss the creation of gas reserves and the menu of options prepared by Brussels to reduce electricity prices.
Specifically, Washington wants to send 15 bcm (billion cubic meters) per year more to the European Union, which would bring the total annual amount to 37 bcm, compared to the 22.2 bcm of liquefied natural gas sent to the bloc in 2021.
The EU’s objective within its plan to disengage from the 155 bcm of Russian gas per year involves, among other things, increasing by 50 bcm its exports of liquefied natural gas from the United States, but also from Qatar, Egypt or the countries of West Africa.
“Our goal is to reduce our dependence on Russia. This can only be achieved through new gas supplies, including LNG deliveries,” explained the head of the EU executive, who added that Washington’s “commitment” to increase supplies is “a big step in that direction.”
Biden, for his part, said he was aware that eliminating Russian gas will have a cost for Europe, but this goal is the right one “from a moral point of view” because it will put both the EU and the United States on a stronger strategic footing.
In a joint announcement, Washington and Brussels broadly reaffirmed their shared goal of addressing the energy security threat posed to the EU and Ukraine by the war launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin.