The US and the EU on Friday said that they reached a natural gas deal as part of an effort to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian energy.
The EU currently relies on Russia for about 40% of its natural gas needs but is looking to stop all energy imports from Moscow by 2027 as part of the US-led effort to hurt the Russian economy.
Under the deal, the US will work with allies to deliver the EU 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) this year. It’s not clear how much will be exported by the US and how much will come from other countries. A Biden administration official said that the US nearly doubled its LNG exports to Europe over the past three months.
Germany, one of the countries most reliant on Russian energy, announced a plan on Friday to halve its import of Russian oil by the summer. Before Russia launched its attack on Ukraine, Germany imported 55% of its gas, 45% of its coal, and about a third of its oil from Russia.
“In the past few weeks, we have undertaken intensive efforts with all the relevant actors to import fewer fossil fuels from Russia and broaden the basis of our supply,” German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said. As part of the plan, Germany wants to get off Russian coal completely by this summer or fall.
Germany’s announcement came after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wants European countries to pay for gas with rubles as Western sanctions targeted Russia’s use of the dollar and euro. The Kremlin warned the West on Friday that Russia will start billing gas deals in rubles soon.