Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, said Thursday that the White House wants to work with Europe to ensure that energy supply keeps up with rising demand and to prevent a crisis that could stall the global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Sullivan, who met European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and other top officials during a visit to Brussels on Thursday, said he would not speculate on whether Russia was manipulating gas prices, which swung wildly in recent days, including in response to comments by President Vladimir Putin.
“Russia has a history of using energy as a tool of coercion, as a political weapon,” Sullivan told journalists. “Whether that’s what’s happening here now is something I will leave to others.”
He continued: “What I will say is that the United States has a real concern that, for a variety of reasons, supply is not keeping up with recovering demand and we have a fundamental interest in seeing global energy supplies — and both gas and oil — at sufficient levels to support a global economic recovery and not to stall it out.”
Sullivan said the issue was discussed in his meetings with EU officials in hopes of forging a close partnership between Washington and Brussels.
“We’d like to be aligned with Europe in this strong proposition that we want to see sufficient supply to keep up with recovering demand,” he said. “And we would like to see energy suppliers take measures to ensure that that is the case. But ultimately, a lot of this will have to get worked out to close coordination among energy consumers, which we are engaged in and through detailed, diplomatic engagement with energy producers, which we are also engaged in.”