Mar 25, 2022 - Economy

Tightening Russia isolation through weaning oil and gas dependency

Illustration of a lock in the colors of the Russian flag.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Economic fences around Russia continue to tighten and target where it hurts most

Catch up quick: U.S. President Joe Biden announced a new energy task force today aimed at cutting Russia off from its critical oil and gas profits.

Why it matters: Sanctions have started to hurt the Russian economy, but its exports of oil and gas are softening the blow, the Washington Post notes.

Details: The U.S. will increase shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe, which it had already been in the process of expanding.

  • There are short and long term goals that call for the EU to import more and more from the U.S. until at least 2030.

The big picture: With the war in Ukraine in its second month, the U.S. and NATO allies continue to do all they can to punish Russia without direct intervention, while leaving room to apply additional penalties in the future.

Be smart: The U.S. is the biggest producer of natural gas in the world and is among the top exporters of LNG, which is the hardest energy for Europe to import.

What they’re saying: “It’s not only the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, it’s going to put us on a much stronger strategic footing,” President Biden said.

What to watch: It will take at least several years for Europe to be fully weaned off of Russian gas, experts tell The New York Times.

Go deeper: Biden's careful embrace of U.S. gas for Europe

Go deeper