EU, US vow to help Ukraine on energy independence

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EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, right, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry look at each other at the European External Action Service headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday April 2, 2014. Kerry met with Ashton and leading EU officials to discuss the dependency of the 28-nation bloc on Russian energy provisions and seek ways for a better diversification of oil and gas imports in the wake of the Crimean crisis. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The United States and the European Union have vowed to help Ukraine reduce its dependence on Russia for energy supplies.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that they will seek to provide Ukraine gas through Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. At the same time, both sides are working to get more gas from Asia to Europe through Azerbeijan and Turkey instead of over Russian soil.

In the wake of Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula, Europe's energy dependency has come to be a political liability which could undermine a strong joint response to Moscow.

Kerry said that "no nation should use energy to stymie a people's aspirations."

The U.S. and EU said they will also work on reducing other European countries' reliance on Russian gas.