Although the EU has said that it may consider buying US liquid gas under certain conditions, the step might be difficult to implement. Here is why.
EU governments have agreed to discuss the possible supply of liquefied gas (LNG) from the US if Washington refrains from introducing taxes on steel and aluminum imports, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten reported, citing an EU official.
US President Donald Trump has threatened to introduce a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports to the United States in June 2018.
The agreement was reached at an informal dinner in Sofia, Bulgaria on Wednesday evening. But the newspaper argues that the implementation of the idea wouldn’t be that easy.
“Russian natural gas will remain significantly cheaper in the long run than shipments across the Atlantic. With the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Germany wants to ensure a technologically secure basis for supplies from Russia,” the article said.
So far, the route across Ukraine has been the main transport route for Russian natural gas to Europe. However, the infrastructure provided by the Ukrainian Naftogaz is outdated, the newspaper noted.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is projected to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas annually to the EU across the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing Ukraine.
Construction permits have already been issued by Germany and Finland. But the project has been severely opposed by the United States, which seeks to export its own LNG to Europe.
Sandra Oudkirk, US deputy assistant secretary of state for energy, has declared that the White House is willing to impose economic sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, Spiegel Online reports.
According to her, the undersea pipeline will allegedly provide Russia with an opportunity to install surveillance equipment beneath the Baltic Sea and may also increase Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas supplies.