After two days in The Hague, Barack Obama moves on to Brussels for an EU/U.S. summit with Ukraine still casting the longest shadow.
Europe’s energy dependence on Russia is likely to top the agenda with the EU pressing for U.S. help in that regard while the standoff with Russia could give new impetus to talks over the world’s largest free trade deal.
Russia provides around one third of the EU’s oil and gas and 40 percent of the gas is shipped through Ukraine. EU leaders dedicated part of a summit to the issue last week and German Chancellor Angela Merkel supported asking Obama to relax restrictions on exports of U.S. gas.
Last night, Britain’s David Cameron said energy independence and the adoption of technologies like shale gas fracking should shoot to the top of Europe’s political agenda.
EU leaders Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy will promise to remove all tariffs on bilateral trade, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.