“The inauguration of Lithuania’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility marks an important step in our European allies’ efforts to free themselves from the grip and influence of Russia, which manipulates natural resources markets to advance its foreign policy agenda,” the letter says.
According to the letter, prior to the installation of the new LNG terminal, Lithuania was completely dependent on Russia for its natural gas supplies.
“Consequently, Russia charges Lithuania prices that are 30 percent higher than those it charges Germany, and Lithuania is constantly at risk of Russia completely shutting off its natural gas spigot,” the senator wrote.
“With that in mind, it is now our responsibility to supply their [Eastern Europe’s] demand with American natural gas… Smaller countries with relatively little demand like Lithuania could be left without an American option, unable to secure their supplies because they lack the negotiating power required to compete with larger countries,” the letter says.
US Senator urges President Obama to consider the real-market conditions, which smaller countries like Lithuania are experiencing, while considering the foreign policy benefits of exporting LNG.
“Someone must supply Lithuania’s needs; the question is: will it be the United States?” Inhofe asks and answers right away: “It should be.”
The Independence, the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) built for the LNG terminal, on Monday arrived in Klaipėda and was moored to the terminal’s jetty. On Tuesday morning, a tanker delivered the first shipment of LNG for the facility.
The LNG terminal will start operations early next year and will cover approximately one-third of Lithuania‘s gas needs in its first year. In the future, it is also expected to meet the demand of the neighboring Baltic countries.