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What if gas from Russia stops reaching Europe?

Gas that supplies Europe comes from Russiaand passes through Ukraine. The US wants to increase the production of liquefied natural gas in case there is a supply interruption due to political pressure.

Not all, but the vast majority of natural gas imported by Europe comes from Russia. Of the three quarters that arrive from abroad, 41% are purchased from Russia, 16% from Norway, 8% from Algeria, and 5% from Qatar, according to Eurostat data. So the possibility of seeing that supply cut off during a harsh winter is very real (and it wouldn’t even be the first time), as Russia continues with military maneuvers near the border with Ukraine.

Diplomatic tension grows and knowing that natural gas is an important economic weapon for Putin and a trump card he may want to play, even if cutting off supplies to a customer like Europe brings costs to his country, the United States is committed to finding an alternative solution. The idea of the Joe Biden administration is to ensure that Europe does not have to deal with a sudden power outage. By energetically supporting it, the United States hopes to see it align more easily with the sanctions that President Joe Biden intends to impose.

Among European leaders, the tone has been one of caution about what they will do if Moscow invades Ukraine — an idea that Vladimir Putin says is not in his plans. Germany, for example, when it decided to close its nuclear plants, became more dependent on imports. If we add crude oil to gas, Russia supplies one-third of EU imports.

This Tuesday, the US press reported that Washington – in addition to military support measures for Ukraine – has been negotiating with gas and oil suppliers spread across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. The goal? Increase production of liquefied natural gas so that it can be diverted to Europe in the event of an interruption of Russian supply due to political pressure.

However, not everything goes as expected. According to Reuters, energy reserves are low and companies in the sector doubt their ability to meet the needs of the European continent in the event of a break with Russia.

The New York Times, on the other hand, quotes a senior US government official on this matter. “We hope to be prepared to guarantee alternative supplies” covering a significant part of a potential energy deficit. “If Russia decides to arm its supply of natural gas or crude oil,” added the same source, “it would not be without consequences for the Russian economy,” as “it is a one-dimensional economy, and that means it needs revenue from oil and gas as much as Europe needs energy supplies”.

Who has been aligned with Washington from the first minute is London. The British prime minister, who says he is willing to send more troops to the region if Ukraine is attacked, recalled that “European friends” were worried about imposing the toughest sanctions because of the heavy dependence on Russian gas.

Despite this, the same source from the Biden administration assured that there is a “remarkable” convergence between North Americans and Europeans. More: the impact of sanctions will be much greater than the response in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea, Ukrainian territory. “The gradualism of the past is over, and this time we will start at the top of the climb and stay there.”

Source: with Agencies

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