US LNG reduces Russian foothold in Europe, officials say

American exports of liquefied natural gas to Eastern Europe would reduce Russia’s influence in the region, according to U.S. senator Jim Inhofe and Damon Wilson, executive vice president of the Atlantic Council.

Speaking at the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) hearing, Inhofe stressed Russia has been using energy dependence as one of its tools to exert influence.

Adding to that comment, Wilson said the lifting of U.S. LNG export restrictions was a significant move “both for psychological impact as well as for commercial impact.”

Wilson continued to emphasize how U.S. competition would confine Russia by market forces, saying “we need Russia to be restricted so that it has to play by the market…The beginning of American LNG shipments has arrived in Poland just in the past six weeks.” 

Inhofe reminded of president Trump’s speech in Poland saying the United States is committed to securing Poland’s access to energy, ensuring “Poland and its neighbors are never again held hostage to a single supplier of energy.”