Sunday, January 16, 2022

If Russia turns off the tap, the US is exploring contingency plans for Europe’s gas supplies

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Secret services fear a Russian attack on Ukraine. Gas deliveries are a means of pressure, many EU countries are dependent on Moscow. The USA have now discussed alternatives with energy companies.

According to insiders, the US government has sounded out emergency plans for gas deliveries to Europe with energy companies in the Ukraine conflict with Russia. According to industry and government circles, officials from the State Department have spoken with the companies about capacities for higher supply volumes in the event that Russian gas supplies are interrupted. A postponement of maintenance work was also discussed in order to keep gas production high.

The companies had explained that a loss of large quantities from Russia would be difficult to replace, referring to the scarce gas supplies around the world. It was not initially known which companies had been addressed. The European Union (EU) obtains around a third of its gas requirements from Russia. US sanctions against Russia could affect deliveries.

A spokesman for the US National Security Council declined to comment on the talks. However, he confirmed that contingency planning was underway. An exploration of the effects of possible measures is common practice. This shows the US determination to take decisive action.

Russia has massed around 100,000 soldiers on the border with Ukraine. The West fears an invasion, the government in Moscow denies such plans. Instead, Russia is concerned with security guarantees.

Among other things, President Vladimir Putin is demanding a commitment from NATO that Ukraine will not be included in the transatlantic military alliance. Allianz categorically rejects this. Several rounds of talks in the past week remained fruitless. As part of diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will travel to Ukraine for talks on Monday and to Russia on Tuesday.

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