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U.S. shale gas won't solve EU energy problems

Staff writer |
Exports of liquefied natural gas from the U.S. won't solve the EU's energy security problems, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said after the G7 meeting in Brussels.

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Mr. Barroso said US President Barack Obama expressed readiness to increase the supply of natural gas to the EU at the March summit in Brussels, however the two leaders did not discuss the matter at their Thursday meeting in the framework of the G7.

This process will take a certain amount of time, the European Commission President said stressing the EU cannot create "the illusion that gas from the U.S. is going to solve our problems."

EU energy security has become a key issue amid the developing crisis in Ukraine. As a result of Kiev's substantial gas debt to Russia, the price for Ukraine was raised from $268.50 to $485.50 per 1,000 cubic meters in April after Russia cancelled two discounts. Kiev authorities have been demanding Moscow lower the rate, refusing to pay back the full debt until then.

Fifty percent of Europe's gas supplies enter the continent via Ukraine from Russian supply lines. Ukraine's debt may lead to the country's failure of transit obligations and the reduction of gas supplies to south-eastern Europe, said Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in April.

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