US Sen. Barrasso to Introduce LNG Amendments to Economic Assistance Package for Ukraine
U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said on Monday that he plans to introduce amendments to the economic assistance package to Ukraine that will be considered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His amendments will focus on allowing the United States to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Ukraine and members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
“As long as Ukraine and our NATO allies are overly dependent on Russian gas, Vladimir Putin will be able to hold them and their economies hostage. Congress should respond by giving Ukraine as well as our NATO allies an alternative supply of natural gas—just as the ambassadors of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia called for on Thursday. My amendments will require the Obama Administration to approve applications to export LNG to countries like Ukraine and our NATO allies,” Barrasso said.
“If Members are willing to provide American taxpayer dollars for Ukraine to pay its Russian gas bill, Congress should work to ensure that Ukraine has the opportunity to buy U.S. natural gas. By passing my amendments, the United States has the potential to be a strategic energy supplier to our allies,” he added.
On March 6, Ambassadors from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic wrote to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and encouraged the United States to support natural gas exports: “Gas-to-gas competition in our region is a vital aspect of national security and a key U.S. interest in the region. It is for this reason that we now ask for your support….The presence of US natural gas would be much welcome in Central and Eastern Europe, and Congressional action to expedite LNG exports to America’s allies would come at a critically important time for the region. Energy security is not only a day-to-day issue for millions of citizens in our region, but it is one of the most important security challenges that America’s allies face in Central and Eastern Europe today,” the letter said.
LNG World News Staff, March 11, 2014; Image: barrasso.senate.gov