Biden to meet Qatar leader as energy concerns loom in Europe | Economic news

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will host Qatar’s ruling emir at the White House on Monday, a visit that comes as U.S. and European allies scramble to put in place contingency plans to meet energy needs from Europe if supplies are further affected by Russia invading Ukraine.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani plan to discuss security in the Middle East, ensuring the stability of global energy supplies and the situation in Afghanistan, where humanitarian conditions have deteriorated following the withdrawal of the US military and the Taliban. resumed last year.

Qatar is one of the world’s largest suppliers of liquefied natural gas and is among the countries the United States hopes could help Europe if a Russian invasion of Ukraine leads Moscow to stem the flow of energy.

Some 100,000 Russian soldiers are massed near the Ukrainian border. Biden reiterated that Russia would face serious consequences if it invades Ukraine further. US officials believe Russian military action may be imminent.

If necessary, Europe could turn to natural gas supplies in North Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the United States. The effort would require “rather smaller volumes from a multitude of sources” to compensate for a Russian cut, according to a senior Biden administration official. official who spoke of internal deliberations on condition of anonymity.

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