US Secretary of State: Europe has a chance to get rid of Russian energy 'shackles'

The US secretary of state said that Russia's military campaign in Ukraine is creating an opportunity for Europe to be able to break energy dependence on Moscow.

"There is a great opportunity, once and for all, to stop being dependent on Russia, to get rid of Russia's shackles with Europe, to use energy as a weapon, and to diversify supply and energy transport routes. quality," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said today.

Blinken made the comments after a surprise visit to Ukraine on September 8, while on his way to Brussels, Belgium, to discuss energy security at a meeting with representatives from NATO.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the press at the United Nations headquarters, New York, August 1. Photo: Reuters .

Russian corporation Gazprom last week closed the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Germany for maintenance but did not reopen as planned, citing the main turbine at the Portovaya compression station near St. Petersburg has an oil leak. The pipeline will stop working "until the issue is resolved".

“Russia stopping Nord Stream 1 is proof of the strategic importance of Europe getting rid of Russian energy dependence, as President Putin has shown he is ready to weaponize energy and will not stop.” , Mr. Blinken added.

Europe is looking to reduce its dependence on Russian energy, since Moscow launched a special military operation in Ukraine. European Union (EU) accuses Russia of weaponizing energy in response to sanctions. Moscow believes that it is sanctions from the West that have affected the flow of gas.

The EU on July 26 approved a voluntary proposal to cut gas demand by 15% from August to March 2023, in the context of increasingly tight supply from Russia. The agreement could become mandatory in the event of a real energy crisis in the winter.

EU energy ministers are meeting today in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss concrete measures to solve the current energy crisis. The main goal is to figure out how to support families and businesses struggling to pay their fuel bills and run plants.

Pipelines that deliver Russian gas to Europe. Click on the picture to see details.

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