President Biden has announced the United States will form a joint task force with the European Commission to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian energy.
While in Brussels on Friday, Biden held a joint press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and announced the task force, saying Russian President Vladimir Putin has used Russia's energy resources "to coerce and manipulate" neighbors and "drive his war machine."
"The United States welcomed the European Union's powerful statement earlier this month committing to rapidly reducing its dependence on Russian gas," Biden said. "Today, we've agreed on a joint game plan toward that goal while accelerating our progress toward a secure, clean energy future."
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Biden said the initiative will focus both on helping Europe reduce its dependence on Russian gas "as quickly as possible" and on "reducing Europe's demand for gas overall." The U.S. will "strive to ensure additional LNG volumes for the EU market of at least 15 bcm in 2022," the White House said.
"We're going to have to make sure that families in Europe can get through this winter and the next while we're building an infrastructure for a diversified, resilient, and clean energy future," Biden said.
The announcement comes after Biden earlier this month imposed a ban on Russian oil imports in order to "inflict further pain" on Putin amid the country's invasion of Ukraine. On Friday, Biden said that while "eliminating Russian gas will have cost for Europe," 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."
Von der Leyen said Friday "we are determined to stand up against Russia's brutal war." She also said the United States' commitment will "replace the LNG supply we currently receive from Russia," adding, "We are right on track now to diversify away from Russian gas and towards our friends and partners' reliable and trustworthy suppliers."
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