Russia bars entry to U.S. Senator pushing shale-gas exports
MOSCOW (Bloomberg) -- Russia banned a U.S. senator pushing shale-gas exports from entering the country as part of a reaction to Treasury sanctions over the annexation of Crimea.
Senator Mary Landrieu was named on a list of U.S. officials on the Kremlin’s website today that also included Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes and Senator John McCain.
Landrieu is scheduled to lead hearings in Washington next week on expanding LNG exports from shale formations, a move that would bring U.S. producers into competition with Russian monopoly exporter OAO Gazprom to supply Europe. Landrieu’s home state of Louisiana is the location of the only gas-export terminal to begin construction so far.
Treasury today announced additional sanctions to punish President Vladimir Putin and his allies after Russia sent troops into Ukraine, a key gas-transit route to Europe, and annexed the Crimean peninsula. Targets named on Treasury’s list include Gennady Timchenko, founder of Swiss oil trader Gunvor Group Ltd.
Gas exports to the EU, which gets about 30% of its supplies from Russia, have been halted twice since 2006 due to disputes with Ukraine.
U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to step up cooperation with Europe on energy in a White House briefing on the Ukraine crisis today.