Biden to announce sweeping plan to get Europe off of Russian fossil fuel dependency: report
US President Joe Biden (left) has accused his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin (right) of trying to spread misinformation to disrupt the US 2022 midterm elections(AFP)

On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that President Joe Biden is planning a sweeping new initiative to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe, in an effort to wean them off of reliance on Russian energy amid the invasion of Ukraine and embargo against the Kremlin.

"The announcement, a dramatic effort to deprive Russia of leverage as it continues to batter Ukraine, would mark an unusual move to reorder the world’s energy flow — a shift that could have an impact long after the war is over," reported Tyler Pager, Ashley Parker, John Hudson, and Jeff Stein. "It comes as European officials have asked the United States to do more to help them cut their reliance on Russia for oil and natural gas."

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"Biden is also expected to use his stop in Brussels on Thursday and Friday — where he is meeting with NATO, the Group of Seven and the European Council — to announce additional sanctions against Moscow, as well as a crackdown on evasions of the current sanctions," continued the report. "The sanctions are expected to hit numerous members of Russia’s parliament, defense companies and subsidiaries, and additional sectors of its economy, according to two people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe matters not yet made public. They cautioned that planning was fluid and subject to change."

The United States is the world's largest producer of natural gas. Russia is second, meaning that it will require a lot of exports to keep European countries properly supplied if Russian energy markets are fully cut off.

Already, Germany took a major step as the invasion escalated by shutting down the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would have increased capacity to deliver Russian gas to Europe. Oil exports to Western countries have plummeted too, although China is the largest buyer of Russian oil.