WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met with Russian Deputy Prime Minster Aleksey Overchuk Thursday to ask Russia for “more to ensure European Energy Security,” according to the U.S. State Department.
Prices in Europe have risen this year, as a result of lower-than-usual stock levels, reduced Russian supply, the advent of colder temperatures, and other infrastructure issues.
Jake Sullivan, White House National Security Advisor, discussed gas issues with European Union officials last week in Brussels. He stated that the United States is concerned about the supply of gas as demand rises after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sullivan was asked if Russia is holding back energy to leverage. He replied: “Russian has a history using energy as a weapon of coercion and as a political tool.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Wednesday that Russia would be ready to deliver more gas to Europe, if asked. He strongly denied the notion that Moscow is squeezing supplies out of political reasons.
The State Department said Sherman also urged Russia to “ensure fair treatment for U.S. companies in its marketplace and to resolve U.S. concerns about Russia’s trade and investment climate.”
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