U.S. urges Russia to do more to ensure European energy security

U.S. urges Russia to do more to ensure European energy security

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman speaks on the situation in Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON Reuters - The U.S. State Department had called on Russian Vice Premier Aleksey Overchuk at a meeting with Russian Deputy Minister Wendy Sherman on Thursday to do more to ensure European energy security, the United States said.

Natural gas prices in Europe and elsewhere have rocketed this year due to higher than usual stocks, an unavailable supply from Russia, the onset of colder weather and infrastructure outages.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan discussed the gas issue with European Union officials in Brussels last week and said the United States was concerned that supply was not keeping up with surging demand as economies recovered from the COVID - 19 pandemic.

Asked whether Russia is holding energy as leverage, Sullivan said: Russia has a history of using energy as a weapon of coercion, as political weapon. Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia was ready to provide more gas to Europe if requested, emphatically rejecting the suggestion that Moscow was squeezing supplies for political reasons.

The State Department said Sherman also urged Russia to ensure fair treatment for U.S. companies in its marketplace and to resolve U.S. concerns about Russia's trade and investment climate