Brussels (AP) — On Friday, the United States and the European Union announced a new partnership to reduce Russia’s dependence on energy.

US President Joe Biden argued that Russian President Vladimir Putin would use energy to “force and manipulate his neighbors” and use the proceeds of the sale to “drive his war machines.”

Biden said the partnership, jointly announced with top European Union executives, would change its dynamics by reducing Europe’s reliance on Russia’s energy sources and reducing gas demand across the continent.

“It’s not just the right thing to do from a moral point of view,” he said, but “it will put us on a stronger strategic foundation.”

Under this plan, the United States and other countries plan to increase liquefied natural gas exports to Europe by 15 billion cubic meters this year. Larger cargo will be delivered in the future.

At the same time, it seeks to get climate targets on track by powering gas infrastructure with clean energy and reducing methane leaks that can exacerbate global warming.

According to the White House, the initiative may require new facilities for importing liquefied natural gas, but the partnership will rely on fossil fuels in the long run through energy efficiency and alternative energy sources. It is also aimed at reducing.

Ursula von der Leyen, head of EU executives, said it was important for Europe to shift from Russia to a reliable, friendly and credible energy supplier.

“We aim to reduce and eliminate this dependence on Russia’s fossil fuels,” she said.

Russia’s energy is Moscow’s main source of income and political influence. Almost 40% of the European Union’s natural gas comes from Russia to warm homes and generate electricity and the electricity industry.

Biden left Brussels after the announcement and headed for Rzeszow, Poland.Here the US military is based about an hour’s drive from the Ukrainian border.

He will be briefed on the humanitarian response to refugees leaving Ukraine and refugees still suffering in the country. He will also meet with US military personnel of the 82nd Airborne Division, who will serve with the Polish Army.

Biden is then expected to fly to Warsaw on Saturday for a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda and a speech to the Polish people before leaving for Washington.

While in Brussels, Biden participated in the summit trio NATO, a group of seven industrialized countries, and the European Union all hosted on Thursday. The extraordinary series of meetings reflects growing concerns about the war in Ukraine in the second month.

Ukraine resisted Russia’s aggression much better than originally expected, but the conflict turned into a harsh bloody event with thousands of casualties and millions of refugees fleeing the country on each side. rice field.

Western leaders are also concerned that Russian President Vladimir Putin could use chemical and nuclear weapons to regain the momentum of the war.

Despite the dramatic increase in exports by the United States in recent years, it may be difficult to reach Europe with more liquefied natural gas. Many export facilities are already operating at capacity and most new terminals are still in the planning stage.

Most US cargo has already been sent to Europe, according to the industry’s lobbying group, the Liquefied Natural Gas Center. Much of the supply is already outsourced to buyers, but there are still opportunities to change destinations.

Emily McClain, a gas market analyst at Rystad, said:

Even if the United States could ship more gas to Europe, the continent may have a hard time receiving it. The import terminal is located in the coastal area and there are fewer pipeline connections to distribute it.

Even if all European facilities are operating at capacity, the amount of gas could be only about two-thirds of what Russia supplies through pipelines.

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Bussewitz reported from New York. Washington Associated Press author Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

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