US in talks with Qatar over supplying LNG to EU: Reports

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Sources say US move comes after Russia, largest provider of energy to the EU, massed troops on the Ukrainian border.

American officials have been in talks with Qatar over supplying European countries with liquefied natural gas (LNG) in case a Russian invasion of Ukraine leads to shortages on the continent, news reports say.

Two people close to the issue said that President Joe Biden planned to ask the Gulf state’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to visit the White House, possibly as soon as later this month. It added the meeting between Biden and Sheikh Tamim had been in the works for some time.

The United States is concerned Russia is preparing for the possibility of a new military assault on the country it partially invaded in 2014, while Moscow denies it plans to attack Ukraine.

The European Union depends on Russia for about one-third of its gas supplies, and US sanctions over any conflict could disrupt that supply.

Any interruptions to Russia’s gas supply to Europe would exacerbate an energy crisis caused by a shortage of the fuel.

sions with energy companies were led by senior adviser for energy security Amos Hochstein, a senior US State Department official told the Reuters news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“The United States promised to have Europe’s back if there is an energy shortage due to conflict or sanctions,” another source told the agency.

“Amos is going to big LNG producing companies and countries like Qatar to see if they can help the United States,” he added, referring to Hochstein.

 

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