With US-EU energy cooperation, Ukraine is less dependent on Russia – Kerry

WASHINGTON, May 5 (KUNA) — US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the US-EU energy cooperation has succeeded in helping reduce Ukraine’s dependency on Russia for natural gas.
“For the first time this past winter, Ukraine received more natural gas from Europe than from Russia, which shows what can happen when you put a strategy in place,” Kerry added at the start of the seventh US-EU Energy Council here late Wednesday and attended by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and focused on energy security and climate change.
He lauded the “gains in securing the flow of energy to Central Europe, to Southeast Europe, and to the Baltics,” especially as the US has only recently started exporting, including to Europe, liquefied natural gas (LNG) “and just the other day one of them has made port,” Kerry confirmed.
The US-EU meeting plans to focus on “not just to move forward with the implementation of the Paris agreement, but expand the use of clean energy worldwide and thereby bolster energy independence in the EU, as well as find new ways to assist Ukraine,” Kerry noted.
It also plans to discuss the Nord Stream 2 project, a new heavily debated gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany, and a project that “we are convinced would absolutely have an adverse impact on Ukraine, on Slovakia, and Eastern Europe. And we cannot lose sight of that,” Kerry reiterated.
on her turn, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said both “our Union and the United States believe that we have to prevent energy from being used as a political weapon,” stressing the need to further strengthen the energy infrastructure globally, especially for energy-insecure countries globally.
In a statement by the US-EU Energy Council released separately, the Council underscored its commitment to improve energy diversification in the EU and its neighboring countries, including ensuring adequate market-based alternatives in terms of energy sources, suppliers, transportation routes, and demand-side management.
And to meet EU’s energy security objective, “new supplies and suppliers, combined with diversified supply routes and sources, greater levels of interconnection, increased indigenous energy production, third-party access to gas transmission and storage facilities, access to LNG, as well as energy efficiency measures,” will be needed.
“The Council also recognized the importance of respecting market needs when designing infrastructure and of open and predictable procedures to facilitate private sector investment and other participation in these projects, including by EU and U.S. companies,” the statement added.
It lauded the reversal of limits to US oil exports, which was passed into US law last December ending 40 years of huge restrictions on US oil exportation which was placed in 1975, as well as the commencement of US LNG exports, describing them as “important milestones for global energy markets that can also help improve security of supply globally and in Europe.” The statement noted the potential of the new gas resources in the Black Sea, the Caspian Basin, North Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean, stressing the “need to respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of EU Member States to explore and exploit their natural resources and stands ready to facilitate the development of these resources and corresponding infrastructure, underlining the need to respect international law”. (end) yt.hb

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