News / Europe

G7: Europe Stuck With Russian Gas Dependence

Germany's Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel departs G7 meeting for Energy, Rome, May 6, 2014.Germany's Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel departs G7 meeting for Energy, Rome, May 6, 2014.
x
Germany's Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel departs G7 meeting for Energy, Rome, May 6, 2014.
Germany's Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel departs G7 meeting for Energy, Rome, May 6, 2014.
Reuters
Europe will be saddled with its dependence on Russian gas for years, ministers from the Group of Seven industrial nations said on Tuesday, condemning the use of energy as a weapon of political coercion.

"I don't know anyone in the world who could tell us how Europe's dependency on importing Russian gas can be changed in the short term," German Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel told reporters.

Meeting in Rome as the crisis in Ukraine intensified, G7 energy ministers said they were "extremely concerned about the energy security implications of developments in Ukraine as a consequence of Russia's violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

They promised to improve energy efficiency, develop a broader mix of energy supplies — including liquefied natural gas (LNG), renewables and new gas pipelines — and to invest in strengthening the existing supply network infrastructure.

But there were no immediate alternatives, they admitted. U.S. shale gas was not expected to aid Europe until at least the end of the decade, when it could be imported from tankers as LNG.

Both Italy and France restated their support for the South Stream pipeline project, which will bring gas from Russia into Europe bypassing Ukraine — while also declaring the need to build up alternative channels.

A third of the EU's gas imports are from Russia, with almost half of that passing through Ukraine, which is in another pricing dispute with Russian gas exporter Gazprom, its third in the past decade.

The final statement from the meeting concentrated on the need to diversify sources of energy and build up gas infrastructure and interconnectivity.

"We are committed to initiate a systemic and enduring step change to improve energy security at national, regional and global levels," the ministers said.

Sanctions

No decisions were taken on whether or not to toughen the targeted sanctions which have already been applied against members of the Russian elite.

That will be left to foreign ministers and heads of government.

However U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said that if the situation in Ukraine continued to escalate, G7 leaders could "move forward, as they have agreed, in terms of elevating sanctions, particularly, at some point, moving towards sectorial sanctions."

Tough rhetoric from Britain and the United States contrasted with a greater emphasis on diplomacy from Germany.

British Energy Minister Ed Davey said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had "crossed a line" and that the G7 meeting had taken a "strategic decision that we will face up to the use by Russia of energy as a weapon."

Germany's Gabriel said that any solution to the long term problem of energy security in Europe would have to rely on dialogue.

"Pure technical changes in the energy market will not be enough. The process needs to be accompanied by diplomacy and politics and agreement on contracts between partners," he said.

With political action unlikely to produce any quick solution, countries like Italy, which relies almost completely on imported energy, are looking at widening its supply sources.

In addition to South Stream, Rome has been placing increasing importance on completing the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to bring Azeri gas to Italy and is also looking at developing a gas link with the east Mediterranean area.

Italy is also looking to develop at least three more LNG terminals on top of the three it has to take shale gas from North America, but U.S. export terminals will not be ready soon.

"A first project will be ready to start at the end of 2015 while another 6 terminals are planned but won't be ready till the end of the decade," U.S. Energy Secretary Moniz said.

"The process however does not determine where the shipments will go," he added.

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid