IEA Members Agree to Beef Up Energy Security

Politics Economy

Paris, March 24 (Jiji Press)--Member countries of the International Energy Agency at a two-day ministerial meeting through Thursday agreed to beef up energy security in response to soaring oil and gas prices.

Participating ministers also adopted a statement, in which they said that they "condemn, in the strongest possible terms, Russia's unlawful invasion of Ukraine, which has destroyed lives and upended peace and security in Europe."

All member countries had a target of thoroughly reducing imports of Russian oil and gas, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said at a press conference after the meeting. Still, the ministerial statement had no reference to IEA members reducing their dependence on energy from Russia.

Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Koichi Hagiuda, who attended the meeting, told reporters, "Several nations, including those in Europe, voiced their readiness to reduce their dependence on Russia (in terms of energy), but the IEA as a whole was unable to reach a specific agreement."

But he added that participants were able to affirm their cooperation to overcome the ongoing energy security crisis and share countermeasures. This was "a significant result," Hagiuda said.

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