Trump to promote LNG export to Russia’s neighbours in the Three Seas Summit

The move is likely to weaken Russia’s usage of energy as a weapon in central and eastern Europe.

U.S. President Donald Trump plans on capitalizing on fast growing supplies of U.S. natural gas and use it as a tool to capture more market for U.S natural gas for countries who are dependent on Russia for their energy needs.

In recent years, Moscow has used the supply of gas a political tool and had resorted to cutting off gas shipments during pricing disputes with neighbours during winter months.

When Trump meets the leaders of a dozen countries in Warsaw, Trump is likely to tell them that Washington is willing to sell more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to allies in central and eastern Europe, said the White House.

Trump is slated to attend the “Three Seas” summit he joins the joins the Group of 20 leading economies in Germany.

One of the aims of the Three Seas project is to expand regional energy infrastructure, including LNG import terminals and gas pipelines. Members of the initiative include Hungary, Poland, Estonia, Austria, and Latvia.

As per James Jones, a former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Trump’s presence will give the project a lift.

An increase in U.S. natural gas export to the region is likely to weaken Russia’s usage of energy as a bargaining chip in the region, said Jones.

“I think the United States can show itself as a benevolent country by exporting energy and by helping countries that don’t have adequate supplies become more self-sufficient and less dependent and less threatened,” said Jones.

Many Republicans want Trump to take a hard line on Russia because of its interference in the election.

“It undermines the strategies of Putin and other strong men who are trying to use the light switch as an element of strategic offense,” said Senator Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado who is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Furthermore, the fact that Russia relies on the revenues of its gas export to finance its state budget, reducing its market share is likely to hurt Moscow.

“In many ways, the LNG exports by the U.S. is the most threatening U.S. policy to Russia,” said Michal Baranowski, director of the Warsaw office of think-tank the German Marshall Fund.

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