The European Union and the United States have struck a deal under which the bloc will receive at least 15 billion cubic meters of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) this year in an effort to wean itself off Russian gas imports.
The announcement came as U.S. President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled the formation of a task force on March 25 to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian fossil fuels following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Today we’ve agreed on a joint game plan for that goal, while accelerating our progress towards a secure, clean energy future,” Biden told a joint news conference with von der Leyen, adding their initiative would also seek to maximize the use of renewable energy and reduce energy demand.
“This initiative focuses on two core issues, one helping Europe to reduce its dependency on Russian gas as quickly as possible and secondly, reducing Europe’s demand for gas overall,” he said.
“We aim to reduce this dependency on Russian fossil fuels and get rid of it. This can only be achieved through…additional gas supplies, including LNG deliveries,” von der Leyen said.
“Therefore, the U.S. commitment to provide the European Union with additional at least 15 billion cubic meters of LNG this year is a big step in this direction because this will replace the LNG supply we currently receive from Russia,” she said.
Under the deal, both sides will aim to ramp up deliveries to 50 billion cubic meters per year by 2030.
The EU consumed an estimated 378 billion cubic meters of gas in 2020, 40 percent of which was supplied by Russia.