RPT-Trade deal would ease U.S. gas exports to Europe -Obama

Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:12am EDT

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BRUSSELS, March 26 (Reuters) - A new transatlantic trade deal currently under negotiation would make it easier for the United States to export gas to Europe and help it reduce its dependency on Russian energy, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday.

"Once we have a trade agreement in place, export licences for projects for liquefied natural gas destined to Europe would be much easier, something that is obviously relevant in today's geopolitical environment," Obama told a news conference after meeting EU leaders, adding that it could not happen overnight.

EU negotiators are pressing U.S. counterparts to agree to allow exports of LNG to the European Union in part to lessen its reliance on Russia, which provides about one-third of Europe's oil and gas supplies, 40 percent of it through Ukraine. (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Paul Taylor)

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