US President Joe Biden has promised the European Union that the United States will send at least 15 billion cubic meters more liquefied natural gas to Europe this year than previously planned. In a joint statement with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, she emphasized: “We certainly do not want to support Putin’s aggressive attack on Ukraine by buying our energy.” With 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas exported this year, a “safe, clear supply of energy for the future” can be ensured. America wanted to help Europe become independent of Russian gas.
In the long term, the amount of liquefied natural gas supplied is to be increased to 50 billion cubic meters per year, as emphasized by Biden and von der Leyen. According to the commission, it can replace about a third of the existing gas imports from Russia.
“You know we want to reduce our dependence on Russia,” von der Leyen said. This can be achieved through investments in renewable energy, but also additional gas supplies, including LNG supplies. America’s commitment to 15 billion cubic meters is the first major step in that direction. “We are moving one step away from Russia to suppliers we can trust.”
According to the EU Commission, the new agreement could cover a tenth of Russian gas deliveries to the EU this year. Accordingly, the EU imports about 155 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia per year – which is about 40 percent of the gas consumed in the EU.
Von der Leyen had already announced on Thursday that the EU and the United States would “open a new chapter in our energy partnership.” Liquefied natural gas is to be transported by tanker ships to Europe. The deliveries are initially intended to fill European gas storage facilities before the coming winter. Von der Leyen said it is also about securing energy supply in the long term. The President of the European Union Commission emphasized that the agreement between the EU and the United States also reflects the strength of Western democracies. “Putin is trying to turn the clock back to another era,” he said, confident he would fail.