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Since the start of the war in Ukraine a month ago, and the massive and unprecedented sanctions against Russia, the price of gas and electricity has exploded. The rise in energy prices, initiated by the health crisis, is accentuated with the conflict. Europe, highly dependent on Russia for its gas and oil supplies, must find alternatives to establish energy sovereignty as a matter of urgency.
As the war in Ukraine enters its second month, Western powers are trying to find solutions to gain energy independence from Moscow. Russia now accounts for 45% of European gas imports. Some 55% of German purchases come from Russia, as well as the bulk of supplies from Finland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Energy dependence was one of the many points on the agenda of the triple summit of NATO, the G7 and the European Council that Brussels hosted on March 23 and 24, in the presence of American President Joe Biden. The United States and the European Union announced measures in Brussels on Friday March 25 to reduce European dependence on Russian gas, shortly before Joe Biden’s departure for Poland, the second leg of a trip to Europe devoted to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The United States and the European Union also announced the creation of a task force aimed at reducing Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels, due to Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
The United States will work – in cooperation with “international partners” – to supply Europe with an additional 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2022, as part of this initiative unveiled by Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, according to a statement.
Germany, which before the Russian invasion imported a third of its oil and some 45% of its coal from Russia, has announced that it will do without Russian coal by the fall and will drastically reduce its dependence on Russian oil by the end of the year, while it expects mid-2024 to be “largely independent” of Russian gas.
>> To (re) see: “Focus: the European Union forced to rethink its energy strategy”
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