Sydney, Australia, Jan 27 (EFE).- Australia on Thursday said that it was willing to supply “affordable” natural gas to its European “allies” in the event that Russia decided to cut off supply to Europe as a result of the crisis in Ukraine.
“We’ve got the gas. Australia has the gas and that puts us in extremely strong position to support customers and allies as they need it,” Australian Energy Minister Angus Taylor said at a press conference.
Australia is one of the world’s largest producers of liquefied natural gas.
Resources Minister Keith Pitt, who was also at the press conference, clarified that although Europe has not made a formal request for gas, the Australian government “stands ready to assist with any request for further supplies.”
“This shows how important Australian resources are to energy supplies around the world,” he said.
Pitt also noted that instability could have a significant impact on the price of the fuel and that it was already beginning to be felt in the Oceania nation.
Australia’s offer comes after the United States began talks with its European allies earlier this week to identify alternatives to Russian gas in other parts of the world, including North Africa and the Middle East.
Tensions in Europe have escalated in recent weeks amid the possibility of a Russian invasion of or incursion into Ukraine, after Moscow moved some 100,000 soldiers near the Ukrainian border, through which its pipelines supplying gas to members of the bloc pass.
Some 41 percent of the European Union’s natural gas imports comes from Russia, which is also its main supplier of crude oil and fossil fuels, according to data from the bloc’s statistical office. EFE