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EU signs US gas deal to curb reliance on Russia

EU signs US gas deal to curb reliance on Russia

The US and the EU have announced a major deal on liquified natural gas, in an attempt to reduce Europe's reliance on Russian energy.

The agreement will see the US provide the EU with at least 15 billion additional cubic metres of the fuel - known as LNG - by the end of the year.

The bloc has already said it will cut Russian gas use in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Russia currently supplies about 40% of the EU's gas needs.

Cutting reliance will mean increasing imports and generating more renewable energy.

The longer-term aim is to ensure, until at least 2030, about 50 billion cubic metres per year of US gas, up from last year's 22 billion cubic metres.

The deal was announced on Friday during a three-day visit by US President Joe Biden to Brussels.

Mr Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen discussed Russia's invasion of Ukraine and offered fresh support to Kyiv.

"Putin is using Russia's energy resources to coerce and manipulate its neighbours," Mr Biden said to reporters in Brussels. "He's used the profits to drive his war machine."

He said the long term benefits of the deal would outweigh the short term pain that reducing Russian gas supplies would cause.

"I know that eliminating Russian gas will have costs for Europe, but it's not only the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, it's going to put us on a much stronger strategic footing."

President von der Leyen said: "We want, as Europeans, to diversify away from Russia towards suppliers that we trust that are friends and that are reliable."

She pointed out that the target 50 billion cubic metres per year "is replacing one-third already of the Russian gas going to Europe today. So we are right on track now to diversify away from Russian gas."

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Author: BBC

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