PARIS — France held talks on Sunday with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on diversifying Europe’s energy supplies to reduce the continent’s dependence on Russia.
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, in a phone call with his Saudi and Emirati counterparts Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, stressed the importance of coordination with the two Gulf states with a view to diversifying the oil and gas supplies of European states, according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He underlined the “need for strong international mobilization, in all forums and under all circumstances, in the face of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, which represents a serious threat to European security,” the statement said.
Le Drian is also due to visit Qatar next week, where the topic of energy diversification will be discussed, BFMTV reported.
Doha is among the world’s top three exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
France is also planning the installation of a floating LNG terminal in the port of Le Havre to increase its LNG landing capacity and reduce its dependence on Russian gas, the French daily Les Echos reported on Saturday.
Russia is the main supplier of crude oil, natural gas and solid fossil fuels to the states of the European Union.
The stability of energy supplies is threatened because of the sanctions imposed on Moscow for its war against Ukraine.
Under the French Presidency of the European Council, France has declared the goal of pursuing EU energy independence over the next decade, which can be achieved by diversifying oil and gas supplies and sources.
Amid international pressure and sanctions, the French oil and gas multinational TotalEnergies announced last Tuesday that it was suspending its activities with Russia and importing petroleum products from Saudi Arabia. (Anadolu)