Talking in Brussels alongside European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, Biden mentioned Russia was utilizing its provide of oil and fuel to “coerce and manipulate its neighbors.” He mentioned the USA would assist Europe scale back its dependence on Russian oil and fuel, and would make sure the continent had sufficient provides for the following two winters. The announcement got here simply earlier than Biden departed Brussels for Poland.
“It’ll take a while to regulate fuel provide chains and infrastructure that (have been) constructed for the final decade so we’ll have to verify the households in Europe can get via this winter and the following whereas we’re constructing an infrastructure for a diversified, resilient and clear vitality future,” Biden mentioned.
Biden and von der Leyen introduced a joint job drive meant to assist wean Europe from its dependence on Russian oil and fuel. The panel, chaired by representatives from the White Home and the European Fee, will likely be aimed towards discovering different provides of liquefied pure fuel and lowering total demand for pure fuel shifting ahead.
Europe’s dependence on Russian fuel and oil has proved a significant sticking level in western efforts to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine. Whereas the US banned Russian vitality imports, Europe discovered it far harder to chop off its provides.
“I do know that eliminating Russian fuel may have prices for Europe, nevertheless it’s not solely the precise factor to do from an ethical standpoint, it’ll put us on a a lot stronger strategic footing,” he mentioned.
The US will work towards supplying Europe with a minimum of 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied pure fuel in 2022, in partnership with different nations, the White Home mentioned. The group will even work towards lowering greenhouse fuel emissions via lowering methane emissions and utilizing clear vitality to energy operations.
Senior administration officers mentioned the 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied pure fuel come from a number of sources, together with the USA and nations in Asia. However officers didn’t have an actual breakdown on the place the fuel was coming from. The announcement Friday was the fruits of a US effort over the previous months to determine alternate sources of vitality for Europe, significantly in Asia. Officers mentioned these efforts would proceed via this 12 months to hit the goal.
One official mentioned weaning Europe from Russian vitality amounted to “changing an unreliable provider of LNG with a way more dependable provider within the US.”
“This disaster additionally presents a possibility. It is a catalyst,” Biden mentioned. “A catalyst that can drive the investments we have to double down on our clear vitality targets and speed up progress in direction of our web zeroes emissions future.”
Biden set to journey to Poland
The announcement got here through the President’s final cease in Brussels earlier than he travels to Poland on Friday, his second cease on a last-minute journey via Europe aimed toward coordinating the West’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Upon his arrival at Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport, Biden will likely be greeted by Polish President Andrzej Duda and obtain a briefing on the humanitarian response to the struggle. He’ll meet with service members from the 82nd Airborne Division in Rzeszów earlier than touring to Warsaw within the night.
On Saturday, the White Home says Biden will maintain a bilateral assembly with Duda to debate how the US and allies are responding to the refugee disaster that has ensued on account of the struggle. He’ll additionally ship remarks earlier than returning to Washington.
The White Home has mentioned the Poland go to is meant to spotlight the large refugee disaster that has ensued since Russia’s struggle in Ukraine started a month in the past.
The President confirmed on Thursday that he hopes to fulfill with Ukrainian refugees whereas in Poland. It is not clear, nevertheless, when or the place these potential conferences would happen.
Greater than 3.5 million refugees have now fled Ukraine, in accordance with knowledge from the United Nations refugee company launched on Tuesday. A overwhelming majority of these refugees have fled to Ukraine’s western neighbors throughout Europe.
Poland, which borders Ukraine to the west, has registered greater than 2 million Ukrainian refugees crossing into the nation. Nonetheless, the variety of refugees staying in Poland is decrease, with many persevering with on of their journey to different nations.
The White Home says that since February 24, the US has supplied greater than $123 million to help nations neighboring Ukraine and the European Union to deal with the refugee inflow, together with $48 million in Poland.
Throughout a information convention on Thursday, Biden advised reporters he did not suppose getting a firsthand take a look at the refugee disaster whereas in Poland would essentially change his response.
“What it’ll do (is) it’ll reinforce my dedication to have the USA be sure we’re a significant piece of coping with the relocation of all these of us, in addition to humanitarian help wanted each inside Ukraine and outdoors Ukraine,” the President mentioned.
Biden introduced up that he has visited struggle zones, saying he understood the plight of refugees.
“I have been in refugee camps. I have been in struggle zones for the final 15 years. And it is — it is devastating,” he mentioned.
Biden additionally mentioned the refugee inflow is “not one thing that Poland or Romania or Germany ought to keep on their very own.”
“That is a world accountability. And the USA, as … one of many leaders within the worldwide group, has an obligation to be engaged — to be engaged and do all we will to ease the struggling and ache of harmless girls and kids, and males, for that matter, all through — all through Ukraine and those that have made it throughout the border,” Biden continued.
The US rejected Poland’s proposals over fears that the US and NATO could possibly be perceived as taking an escalatory step, additional fomenting battle between the alliance and Russia — which adamantly opposes Ukraine’s ambitions to affix the NATO alliance.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly requested extra plane for the invasion, making one other attraction to NATO leaders on Thursday.
Throughout a digital handle Thursday, Zelensky requested NATO members for “1% of all of your planes,” later including, “You will have hundreds of fighter jets, however we’ve got not been given one but.”
Regardless of Zelensky’s plea, a senior US official advised CNN in a while Thursday that the US place on the fighter jet situation has not modified.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.