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  |   Politics


Joe Biden talks efforts to prevent Russia from manipulating natural gas flows for political reasons in meeting with Angela Merkel

Office of the President of the United States / Wikimedia Commons

US President Joe Biden is at the G20 Summit re-engaging with his foreign counterparts and addressing key issues. In his meeting with outgoing German chancellor Angela Merkel, the two leaders discussed efforts to keep Russia from politicizing the manipulation of natural gas flows.

Biden met with Merkel during the summit where they discussed how to prevent Russia from manipulating the flow of natural gas for political purposes, the White House said Saturday. During their meeting, Biden stressed the importance of making sure that Russia could not be able to do so. Both leaders also discussed the situation in Afghanistan, where the US and its allies withdrew from the country in August.

This comes as data from a German pipeline operator Saturday found Russian natural gas flows into Europe stopped in the part of the Yamal-Europe pipeline that brings gas into Germany through Poland. To note, Russia sends gas to western Europe through different routes, the Yamal-Europe pipeline included, which has an annual capacity of 33 billion cubic meters.

Russia’s firm Gazprom said Saturday that the natural gas requirements by its European customers were being met. This comes at a time where gas prices in Europe are rising as the global economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic as inventories are still low. Gazprom was previously accused by the International Energy Agency and some European lawmakers of not doing enough to increase natural gas flow into Europe.

Gazprom has maintained that it is meeting its contractual requirements.

In his first news conference in months, Biden shared the encouraging reception given to him when he attended the global conference, dismissing speculations that allies are skeptical as to whether he can move US relations forward from strained relations caused by his immediate predecessor Donald Trump.

“They listened. Everyone sought me out. They wanted to know what our views were, and we helped lead what happened here,” said Biden Sunday evening. “We got significant support here...The United States of America is the most critical part of this entire agenda.”

Biden’s comments also come as his legislative agenda is still in the process of negotiations, with the House voting on the bipartisan infrastructure bill this week. Biden also dismissed the reports of his sinking poll numbers affecting his administration’s priorities.

“Look at every other president. The same thing has happened. But that’s not why I ran,” said Biden.

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