By Laura Barron-Lopez - 05/30/14 05:26 PM EDT
President Obama is planning to hold energy and climate talks throughout his European trip next week.
Days after the administration plans to announce its signature rules limiting carbon emissions from power plants, Obama will discuss climate change and energy issues with the leaders of the G7 nations at a summit in Brussels Thursday.
"Over the last several weeks, we have already taken some steps to, through our licensing, increase the export of natural gas to Europe and we see that as part of the European energy picture and European energy diversification," Rhodes said on a call with reporters Friday. "And we'll have an opportunity to continue to update our allies on the latest steps that we've taken."
He added that escalating tensions in Ukraine have brought the energy dependence of Eastern European countries in focus.
"The Ukraine crisis has brought into sharp relief Europe's energy dependence on Russia, so we are going to work closely with our European allies on the importance of both short- and long-term efforts to diversify their energy sources, to modernize their infrastructure and to limit Russia's ability to use energy as a tool of political leverage," Rhodes said.
As for talk of climate policy, Rhodes said the conversation G7 leaders will "build on the steps that the president is taking at home."