MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The European Union has increased its imports of US liquefied natural gas (LNG) almost fivefold since reaching a landmark agreement on a new phase in the EU-US relations exactly one year ago, the European Commission said in a press release.
“Since July 2018, the EU has significantly increased its imports of LNG from the U.S. by over 367%. So far, in 2019, one-third of all U.S. LNG exports have gone to the EU. The U.S. is the EU’s third-largest supplier of LNG, while the EU has emerged as the primary destination of U.S. LNG exports”, the European Commission said.
The press release comes amid rising tensions between European countries, Russia and the US over the alleged danger of Europe’s dependence on Russia and subsequent diminished transit role of Ukraine. The United States, an LNG exporter, has been strongly against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the venture between Russian gas giant Gazprom and five European companies that is expected to deliver Russian gas to Europe.
According to the Russian president, the US is seeking to force Russia out of the European energy market in order to sell more liquefied natural gas to Europe. Following Washington claims that the Russian gas pipeline will increase Europe’s dependence on Moscow, US lawmakers introduced in May a measure to impose sanctions against companies involved in constructing the Russian Nord Stream 2 project at sea including entities providing insurance or other financial services.
Nord Stream 2Nord Stream 2 pipeline being laid.
The European Parliament also opposed the Nord Stream 2, calling for scrapping the construction of the pipeline and stressed that it is a ” olitical project that poses a threat to European energy security”.
A year ago, on 25 July 2018, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and US President Donald Trump issued a joint statement announcing a phase of “close friendship” and “strong trade relations” for the sake of increasing global security and fighting terrorism.