On 25 March, the US Congress House of Representatives ratified bill H.R. 1616, which calls for the suppression of the Russian energy supply to Europe.
The text of the document is available on the official Congress website.
The short title of the bill is the “European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2019”. Its primary goal is to assist “European and Eurasian countries to reduce their dependence on energy resources from countries that use energy dependence for undue political influence, such as the Russian Federation”.
“The Russian Federation, led by Vladimir Putin, has long used energy as a weapon to coerce and manipulate European countries. As American energy production continues to rise, we have a prime opportunity to support our allies and provide an alternative to the stronghold Russia employs over energy sources,” commented Adam Kinzinger, co-author of the bill, after the voting.
Through the bill, Washington hopes to stimulate the flow of US investments into Europe’s energy infrastructure and to promote the exportation of US energy resources and technology.
For this purpose, the US State Department could spend an estimated $1 billion by 2029, partially through the especially created Countering Russian Influence Fund. The funding can be used in various ways, from supporting the development of gas transport infrastructure to investment in renewable energy sources.
The act will come into force once it has been ratified by the Senate and signed by President Donald Trump.