News / Europe

Britain Sets Out Europe's Energy Alternatives to Russia

FILE - The coal power plant 'Scholven' of German utility giant E.ON is seen in Gelsenkirchen, March 11, 2014.
FILE - The coal power plant 'Scholven' of German utility giant E.ON is seen in Gelsenkirchen, March 11, 2014.
Reuters
Europe has a range of options to shore up its energy security and cut dependence on Russian supplies, including asking the United States to export more gas and working with Iraq, a British government document says.

Following Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region, talks between European Union leaders in Brussels on Thursday and Friday are focusing on how Europe can make itself less reliant on Russian gas pumped via Ukraine.

The 28 EU states also want to be in a position to supply Ukraine with energy should Russia cut off supplies. They are expected to ask the Commission, the EU executive, to draw up an in-depth study of EU energy security by June this year.

Britain's discussion paper, circulated to other EU governments and seen by Reuters, calls for a 25-year plan as well as measures for the nearer term.

It says this week's talks “should make clear that Europe will work in a coordinated and expedited manner to reduce its high energy dependency rates”.

At their meeting in Brussels, EU leaders are also discussing to how ramp up their response to the crisis in Crimea, amid growing doubts over whether they are united enough to impose hard-hitting sanctions on Moscow.

The EU has however already taken steps to diversify its energy sources in response to previous crises when Russia cut off supplies to Ukraine.

It has backed a new link, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, to import Azeri gas and has improved infrastructure to allow gas to be pumped from the EU into Ukraine, rather than the other way round.

But analysts say that if Russia turned off supplies for any length of time, Europe would still face major problems.

Britain says in its discussion paper that exploration of how to ship Iraqi gas to Europe should be intensified, and cooperation with other strategic partners enhanced.

EU-U.S. energy talks should examine how to bring about gas exports from the United States to the European Union, it said, and consider how that could be reflected in transatlantic trade talks.

The United States has begun granting licenses to export liquefied natural gas, but progress has been slow because of political sensitivities about keeping most of the gas for domestic use in the United States.

Analysts say the natural destination for U.S. exports would be Asia, where gas prices are higher than in Europe, although even limited shipments to the European Union could be of help.

Britain - which only receives a small amount of Russian gas during peak winter demand via a pipeline link to continental Europe - is proposing U.S. gas as just one of many options.

It also urges EU authorities to help member states exploit their own resources through regulation on completion of a single, liberalized energy market and targeted aid.

Already Britain has successfully lobbied against more onerous EU legislation that might have thwarted its aim to develop shale gas.

With France's EDF, Britain is also seeking to build a new nuclear plant, but the Commission has raised concerns Britain's funding plans break EU competition law.

“The European Commission should prioritize energy state aid cases to facilitate rapid deployment of infrastructure in the EU ensuring security of supply,” the discussion paper says.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid