Russia is taking a retaliatory step the U.S. and its allies have been bracing for — cutting off gas exports to two European nations, a move that escalated tensions and raised concerns about the possibility of Russia widening the stoppage to other nations.
The Biden administration has long warned that Russia would weaponize its energy exports but sought to work in lockstep with European allies on their own timelines to reduce reliance on Russian gas and oil.
A German official raised eyebrows earlier this week when he suggested Berlin is days away from independence from Russian oil, in large part by supplying German oil refineries with imports through Polish sea ports.
“I do think this is, if anything, probably going to increase the resolve of many European actors to reduce their reliance on Russian energy,” said Rachel Ziemba, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. “The challenge is I think it runs the risk of dividing European entities.”
Ziemba said the development would likely spur an increase in natural gas prices, including in the U.S., which is increasing liquified natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe to help wean European nations off of Russian gas.
“Globally, I would think prices are generally heading up from here,” said Ziemba.
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