EU, U.S. consider joint efforts on EU energy security-statement

BRUSSELS, March 26 Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:14am EDT

BRUSSELS, March 26 (Reuters) - The European Union must improve its energy security after Russia's takeover of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and is working on it with the United States, a joint statement of EU and U.S. leaders said on Wednesday.

"The situation in Ukraine proves the need to reinforce energy security in Europe and we are considering new collaborative efforts to achieve this goal," the statement said.

The EU now buys most of its gas from Russia, making the 28-nation bloc dependent on supplies from the Russian state-owned Gazprom monopoly.

European leaders said last week they would like to diversify their energy sources and the United States, thanks to new technologies, now has large quantities of shale gas that it could sell to Europe.

"We welcome the prospect of U.S. liquefied natural gas exports in the future since additional global supplies will benefit Europe and other strategic partners," the statement said.

"We agree on the importance of redoubling transatlantic efforts to support European energy security to further diversify energy sources and suppliers and to allow for reverse natural gas flows to Ukraine from its EU neighbours," it said. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Adrian Croft)