The U.S. and Qatar’s Leaders Meet Regarding Europe’s Energy Crisis

qatar and us leaders
US President Joe Biden participates in a bilateral meeting with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, emir of Qatar, in the Oval Office of the White House on 31 January 2022 in Washington, DC (AFP)

The meeting is hosted by President Joe Biden at the White House on Monday, as the West prepares itself for the possibility of a European energy crisis if Russia decides to invade Ukraine.

As of today, Russia has over 100,000 troops gathered near the Ukrainian border. And Qatar, being the second-largest exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG), is ready to assist Europe.

However, this aid would be limited. Qatar is already operating at full production capacity, with the majority of its supply going to Asia. The U.S. has negotiated with its allies (Japan, India and South Korea) about sending LNG supply to Europe, but analysts say this will only have a minimal influence on lessening the impact.

“Qatar sees this as an opportunity to further improve its relationship with the U.S. after Afghanistan,’” said energy economist at the Middle East Institute in Washington, Yesar Al-Maleki. “But it is going to be very hard to do because there isn’t excess supply.”

Both Biden and Qatar’s emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, are expected to discuss Middle East security as well as Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis following last year’s U.S. military withdrawal and Taliban control. The leaders are also scheduled to discuss the status of US efforts to recover the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The market’s rising concerns that Russian deliveries to Europe through Ukraine could be disrupted caused a spike in natural gas futures prices last week. Russia supplies over 40% of Europe’s natural gas needs, however, its gas exports were down by roughly 25% in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020 despite high global prices, further increasing the shortage.

Russia maintains its position saying that an invasion of Ukraine is not in their mind. Kremlin spokesperson called “fake hysteria” the fear that Russia would cut off the natural gas supply to Europe.

Qatar and United States Relation

Qatar was praised by Biden administration officials for helping evacuate hundreds of US Americans and Afghans during the disastrous end of the US fight with the Taliban. Qatar continues to fly passenger flights to Afghanistan and has assisted the US in processing visas for thousands of refugees fleeing Taliban authority. Biden told al Thani on a private call that the Afghanistan evacuation “would not have been possible without the early support from Qatar to facilitate the transfer of thousands of people daily.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “Many countries have stepped up to help the evacuation and relocation efforts in Afghanistan, but no country has done more than Qatar,” 

After Trump’s decision to support a blockade against Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, the relationship between Qatar and the U.S. has improved.

What do you think?

27 Points
Upvote Downvote

Written by Olivia Woods

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

gas station

U.S. Gas Prices Have Been Up for Fifth Weeks Straight

offshore oil drill

Oil and Gas Discovery Off the Coast of Guyana by CGX Energy