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Gazprom claims the United States’ new sanctions against Russia serve the interests of American natural gas exporters who seek to increase their market share in Europe, according to a new report by Reuters.
"As far as the implementation of the sanctions is concerned, they don't conceal that this is aimed at ensuring American LNG to Europe,” Gazprom Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alexander Medvedev said.
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate affirmed new sanctions against Russia for Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential elections. The measures targeted Russian energy projects.
American natural gas producers are eager to sell their goods to European markets, which have been on the hunt for non-Russian sources of fossil fuels. The foreign policies of President Vladimir Putin and the European Union have been diametrically opposed in Syria, Ukraine, and other major geopolitical battles in recent years. Finding a new import partner – such as the U.S. - would lower Moscow’s leverage in Europe.
President Donald Trump will need to sign off on the sanctions for them to go into effect. Both Germany and Austria protested the sanctions on Thursday, because the measures would expose the two allies to fines for purchasing Russian energy.
Related: Putin’s Newest Oil Play: Russia Gains Foothold In Iraqi Oil Patch
Medvedev also announced on Thursday that Gazprom had received all the funds its European partners had promised for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 Gas pipeline, which will bypass Ukraine to supply Russian energy to Europe. The pipeline, expected to be commercial by 2019, will add 27.5 billion cubic meters of capacity to Nord Stream 1, which is already operational.
“We are already working in regulated conditions in full scope in the EU territory and the onshore segment of this project is implemented in strict compliance with all capacity expansion norms," the Gazprom official said, according to TASS.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…