US negotiating with global suppliers to secure gas for Europe if Russia invades Ukraine: Report

WION Web Team
Washington Updated: Jan 27, 2022, 06:57 PM(IST)

Russia may cut off gas supplies to Europe Photograph:( Reuters )

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US officials on Tuesday said that they had been negotiating with global suppliers for additional volumes of non-Russian fuel.

Even as tensions are brewing between US and Russia over the Ukraine crisis, it is being reported that President Joe Biden is in talks with natural gas suppliers around the globe should Russia cut off energy supplies to Europe as a consequence of the conflict.

US officials on Tuesday said that they had been negotiating with global suppliers for additional volumes of non-Russian fuel.

“We're in discussions with major natural gas producers around the globe, to understand their capacity and willingness to temporarily surge natural gas supply and to allocate these volumes to European buyers,” a senior administration official was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“We've been working to identify additional volumes of non-Russian natural gas from various areas of the world from North Africa and the Middle East to Asia and the United States," the official said, adding that European energy stockpiles are significantly lower due to reduced Russian supplies over the last few months.

Also read | Russia steps up propaganda war amid tensions with Ukraine

The US and Europe had threatened to impose political and economic sanctions on Russia if it attempts to invade Ukraine. But Kremlin has not overtly discussed the retaliatory measures it would take to counter the sanctions.

Hence, the European leaders feel that Russian President Vladimir Puttin may cut off energy supplies to them in response to those sanctions.

Putin has reportedly deployed around 100,000 troops near Ukraine's border for weeks, sparking a diplomatic crisis for Europe and the United States.

Also read | Russia sends more fighter planes for drills in Belarus

The West has repeatedly claimed that Russia intends to invade Ukraine. However, Putin has called such charges as basil.

Russia has already restricted the flow of natural gas through the pipeline running through Ukraine from about 100m cubic metres a day to 50 MCM, the Guardian reported citing US officials.

Washington now estimates that almost all of that can be replaced quickly if the pipeline is cut deliberately or as a result of the conflict.

(With inputs from agencies)

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