G7 ties energy security to Ukraine's future

By Daniel J. Graeber   |   March 25, 2014 at 10:52 AM   |   Comments

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March 25 (UPI) -- Energy security for Ukraine is an essential part of national security, Western leaders said in a joint declaration from The Hague.

Leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, along with high-ranking officials from the European Union, met in The Hague, Netherlands, to express their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.

The leaders in a joint declaration, published Monday, said energy security was part of national security for Europe and Ukraine.

"We remain united in our commitment to provide strong financial backing to Ukraine, to coordinate our technical assistance, and to provide assistance in other areas, including measures to enhance trade and strengthen energy security," they said.

Ukraine descended into chaos in November when the government of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych opted to suspend efforts to sign free trade and association agreements with the EU. Russia has since annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

The row sparked concerns about energy security in Europe. European consumers have about 20 percent of their gas needs met by Russia, though the majority of those supplies run through the Soviet-era transit network in Ukraine.

The International Energy Agency said March 5 there were no energy supply disruptions through Ukraine.

[Hague Declaration]

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