Zelenskyy calls on countries with energy flushing to boost exports to counter Russia

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday called on global energy exporters to ramp up oil and natural gas production to dampen Russia’s influence on global markets.

In a surprise appearance at a distance at the annual Doha Forum in Qatar, Mr Zelenskyy urged countries that were flushing with oil and gas to “make Russia understand that no state should use energy as a weapon and blackmail the world.” .”

“The responsible states, in particular the state of Qatar, are reliable and reputable suppliers of energy resources,” said Mr Zelenskyy. “And you can contribute to stabilizing the situation in Europe. There is much that can be done to restore justice.”

“The future of Europe depends on your efforts,” he added.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sparked long-standing concerns about Moscow’s dominance over global energy markets and led to a spike in energy prices.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, has so far said it would not increase oil production in response to the war. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan attended the conference on Saturday.

The US has banned imports of Russian oil in response to the Kremlin’s attack on Ukraine and has called on other countries to curb their reliance on Russian energy.

On Thursday, President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen pledged to “address the EU’s immediate energy security needs and accelerate the clean energy transition”.

As part of the pledge, the EU plans to phase out Russian energy imports before the end of the decade.

The EU, which currently imports 40% of its total natural gas from Russia, has called on the US to help overcome dependency by boosting the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

But US exports alone may have a limited impact on energy prices in Europe, which remain much higher than in the US

Analysts say US LNG producers are already at full capacity and it could be years before new drilling and export licenses are enough to make an impact.

Qatar Energy CEO Saad Sherida al-Kaabi further tempered expectations for a panacea for rising energy costs on Saturday, saying Qatar probably couldn’t “immediately” help send more gas to Europe.

— Ramsey Touchberry contributed to this story, which also includes thread reports.

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