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European Commission Representation in Cyprus
Speech25 March 2022Representation in Cyprus

Statement by President von der Leyen with US President Biden

Mr President, dear Joe,

Your presence here in Brussels this week at the NATO Summit, at the G7 and at our European Council sends a very powerful message to the world: The transatlantic partnership stands stronger and more united than ever. And we are determined to stand up against Russia's brutal war. This war will be a strategic failure for Putin.

Our cooperation on the four successive waves of sanctions against Russia has been extraordinary and exceptional. The sanctions are now working their way deep into the Russian system, draining Putin's resources to finance this atrocious war. Our work on sanctions also shows that when we act together, we are stronger and we really can make a difference. And we are continuing to reinforce our cooperation in many strategic ways: on humanitarian and security assistance to Ukraine; on energy; on fighting the threats against our democracies; on solving outstanding issues in the EU-US cooperation, including in data protection and privacy. In a world faced with disorder, our transatlantic unity upholds fundamental values and rules that our citizens believe in.

Let me focus first on refugees. Until now, around three and a half million people have left Ukraine. Half of them children. Every second refugee is a child. And the numbers will keep rising. So together, we are mobilising massive resources to support those displaced by the conflict, be it in Ukraine or in the neighbouring countries. Just this week, for example, I announced that the European Union will allocate an extra EUR 3.4 billion for this purpose. And more will come. This demonstrates our deep support for Ukraine and its citizens. And I want to tell the American people how grateful Europe is for their unwavering support.

This support also extends to strengthening Europe's energy security and independence from Russian fossil fuels. As you know, we aim to reduce this dependency on Russian fossil fuels and to get rid of it. And this can only be achieved through, of course, first of all, investment in renewables, but also through additional gas supplies, including LNG deliveries. So we want, as Europeans, to diversify away from Russia towards suppliers that we trust, that are our friends and that are reliable. Therefore, the US commitment to provide the European Union with additional, at least, 15 billion cubic metres of LNG this year is a big step in this direction. Because this will replace the LNG supply we currently receive from Russia. And looking ahead, the United States and Europe will ensure stable demand and supply for additional, at least, 50 billion cubic metres of US LNG until 2030. And if we look at that, this amount, 50 bcm per year, is replacing one third already of the Russian gas going to Europe today. So we are right on track now to diversify away from Russian gas and towards our friends and partners, reliable and trustworthy suppliers.  We need to secure our supplies not just for next winter, but also for the years ahead. And this is an important, a big starting point to do that.

Our partnership aims to sustain us through this war, to work on our independence from Russian fossil fuels. But it also focuses on building a greener future with climate neutrality. We will work together, also with our energy-intensive industry. And the good news is that the infrastructure that we use for gas today can be used for clean hydrogen in the future. So this investment that we are doing right now is also an investment in decarbonising our economy. The cooperation shows the power of our democracies. I particularly welcome that we will step up our respective actions on strengthening democracies, the rule of law, the freedom of the media in the world.

And we also need to continue adapting our own democracies to a changing world. This is particularly true when it comes to digitalisation, in which the protection of personal data and privacy has become so crucial. Therefore, I am very pleased that we have found an agreement in principle on a new framework for transatlantic data flows. This will enable predictable and trustworthy data flows between the EU and US, safeguarding privacy and civil liberties. I really want to thank Commissioner Reynders and Secretary Raimondo for their tireless efforts over the past months to find a balanced and effective solution. This is another step in strengthening our partnership. We manage to balance security and the right to privacy and data protection.

Mr President, dear Joe,

Putin is trying to turn back the clock to another era, an era of brutal use of force, of power politics, of spheres of influence and internal repression. I am confident he will fail. We are working together to forge a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future. And I know that we will succeed.

Thank you very much.


Publication date
25 March 2022
Representation in Cyprus