Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe contends Russia is attempting to use energy as a weapon to influence Europe. During a recent hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senator raised the issue as he questioned Damon Wilson, executive vice president of the Atlantic Council.
“Russia is very apt to use energy dependence as one of the tools,” said the Senator who emphasized how American exports of liquefied natural gas to Eastern Europe reduce Russian influence in the region.
Wilson agreed with him.
“The Russians have undoubtedly proved that they would use energy dependence as a weapon, not just as a tool of coercion which they do on a daily basis. The lifting of the U.S. LNG export restrictions was significant both of psychological impact as well as for commercial impact.”
Wilson told Inhofe and others on the committee that U.S. competition will confine Russia by market forces.
“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. This is the news of the year in Poland.”