In a report by Bloomberg, "Biden administration officials have been talking with Qatar about possibly supplying Europe with liquefied natural gas if a Russian invasion of Ukraine leads to shortages, according to people familiar with the matter."
As per the report, President Joe Biden plans to ask Qatar's Amir H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to visit the White House. The meeting between President Biden and the H.H. the Amir has been in the works for some time, a White House official said on 21 January 2022, according to Bloomberg.
Bloomberg also reported that "some European nations have expressed fears that punishing Russia with harsh sanctions over the Ukraine crisis could wind up damaging their economies and prompt Russian President Vladimir Putin to cut off or scale back gas supplies in the middle of the winter. Europe gets more than 40% of its natural gas from Russia, and about a third of Russian gas flowing to Europe passes through Ukraine.
Qatar is one of the world’s biggest producers of LNG, with about three-quarters of the fuel sold to energy-poor Asian countries such as Japan and Korea. Qatar provides about 5% of Europe’s natural gas. The Qatari embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In Europe, shifting to LNG is critical for countries such as Lithuania and Poland that are looking to escape the pipeline politics involved in buying gas from Russia."
According to the report, in an interview with Bloomberg Television, the White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese has said "the administration is working with partners to step up fuel supplies to Europe. In the very immediate term, the focus is on how we can make sure that European countries have sufficient access to natural gas to get through the winter months, but also to alleviate pressures in the spring. And very specifically, what that means is working with our allies and partners, particularly gas producing countries to understand what additional capacity exists and how we could move and extend that capacity into the region.”
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