BERLIN: Energy ministers from the Group of Seven major industrialized nations, in a joint statement adopted at an online meeting Thursday, urged oil and gas producing countries to expand their supplies amid the Ukrainian crisis.
“We call on oil and gas producing countries to act in a responsible manner and to examine their ability to increase deliveries to international markets,” the G7 ministers said in the statement.
The ministers also said, “We welcome that International Energy Agency members have already released 61.7 million barrels of oil to the market and stand ready to take additional action as the situation requires.”
The meeting was held in response to concerns about possible disruptions in energy supplies from Russia, which is facing sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.
From Japan, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda attended the G7 talks, which were also joined by Ukraine’s energy minister Herman Halushchenko. The G7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States plus the European Union.
For the strengthening of energy security, the G7 ministers confirmed the importance of accelerating the transition to clean energy, including nuclear power. Countries that opt to use nuclear energy “reaffirm the role of nuclear energy in their energy mix,” the statement said.
In order to mitigate potential supply disruptions of Russian pipeline gas, especially to European markets, the G7 ministers stressed in the statement “the important role increased deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) can play.”
The ministers said they “condemn in the strongest possible terms” the Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilians and civilian infrastructure.
Also, the ministers said, “It is with gravest concern that we have witnessed Russian attacks at and in the direct vicinity of nuclear facilities in Ukraine.”
At the meeting, the ministers agreed to reduce their countries’ energy dependence on Russia in the future.
Among the G7 members, the United States, Britain and Canada have decided to ban imports of Russian crude oil and other products. But Germany and Italy, which are highly dependent on Russian energy, are cautious about such a measure, and Japan is also reluctant.
Still, each member believes that maintaining the current dependence on Russia is risky and aims to reduce its dependence on Russia in the medium to long term.