France hosts meet with Saudi, UAE to increase European energy supplies

The French government held discussions with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on diversifying Europe’s energy supplies to reduce the continent’s reliance on Russia.

According to a statement from the Foreign Ministry, in a phone call with his Saudi and UAE counterparts, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stressed the importance of coordination with the two Gulf states in order to diversify European states’ oil and gas supplies.

Moreover, he stressed the “demand for robust international mobilization, in all circumstances and all forums, in the face of the aggression led by Russia in Ukraine, which poses a severe threat to European security,” the statement said.

According to a TV news channel, Le Drian is also set to visit Qatar next week, where the topic of energy diversification will be discussed. Doha is one of the top three liquefied natural gas exporters globally (LNG).

Furthermore, According to the French newspaper, France is also planning to build a floating LNG terminal in the port of Le Havre to expand LNG landing capacity and lessen its reliance on Russian gas.

Russia is the major supplier of natural gas, crude oil, and solid fossil fuels to EU states. Energy supply stability is jeopardized due to sanctions imposed on Russia for its war in Ukraine.

In addition, under the French presidency of the European Council, France has stated that the EU’s goal for the next decade is to attain energy independence, which can be done through diversifying oil and gas supply and sources.

In the midst of global pressure and sanctions, TotalEnergies, a French multinational oil and gas company, declared last Tuesday that it would stop doing business with Russia and instead purchase petroleum products from Saudi Arabia.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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