Biden to Announce Major Plan to Send Gas from US to Europe: Report
Europe finds itself in a difficult situation: It is dependent on Russian oil but also wants to condemn Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
The 27 member countries of the European Union get about a quarter of their oil and more than 40 percent of their gas from Russia, Quartz reported.
All the landlocked European countries in the east are particularly dependent on Russia for oil and gas, and refineries are still buying Russian, Reuters reported.
In light of this, President Joe Biden has teamed up with European leaders and is expected to announce a major initiative to send shipments of liquefied natural gas to Europe from the United States, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
The move is part of a larger effort to wean Europe off Russian energy.
Biden is visiting Brussels this week to meet with leaders of NATO countries and other Group of Seven (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) nations to discuss the situation with Russia.
On March 16, the administration authorized exports of liquefied gas from two facilities on the U.S. Gulf Coast, which was a move to start helping Europe deal with its energy debacle, Reuters reported.
Thus far, the United States and the United Kingdom have been the most significant countries to ban Russian oil, on which they rely far less than the EU does.
But the EU does have long-term plans to slash gas imports by two-thirds within the next year, Quartz reported.
Earlier this month, Russian leader Vladimir Putin threatened Europe that he would withhold gas supplies altogether if there was “a rejection of Russian oil,” the U.K.’s Guardian reported.
So the EU’s turning to the U.S. for gas was not unforeseen.
But it is a big shift since Europe has been relying on Russia for energy so heavily.
“The announcement, a dramatic effort to deprive Russia of leverage as it continues to batter Ukraine, would mark an unusual move to reorder the world’s energy flow — a shift that could have an impact long after the war is over,” the Post reported.
“It comes as European officials have asked the United States to do more to help them cut their reliance on Russia for oil and natural gas.”
However, despite the U.S. plan to help the EU reduce its reliance on Russia, many expect that the EU will not altogether embargo Russian oil and gas anytime soon, CNBC reported.
Germany and Hungary are notably hesitant about cutting themselves off from Russian oil, while some of the Baltic nations and Poland are supportive of restricting buying from Russia, the outlet said.
Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, said the goal of helping Europe in its energy crisis is “a major priority,” the Post reported.
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