Japan is ready to organize the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to European countries in the event of an escalation of the situation around Ukraine and subsequent disruptions of Russian gas deliveries to Europe, media reported on Wednesday, citing government sources.
An official statement on the issue is expected later on Wednesday. Japan plans to ensure sufficient gas reserves for itself before providing supplies to European nations. The volume and timing of deliveries are not specified.
Last week, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Koichi Hagiuda commenting on reports of US-EU-Asian nations talks on an increase in gas supplies to Europe in case tensions over Ukraine escalates, said that the government would explore possible options that will not adversely affect the Japanese population.
Last month, news media reported that Washington was seeking alternative sources of natural gas for Europe in case Russia cuts off transit through Ukraine. The US reportedly considered disruptions of exports via other routes a less likely scenario.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Washington had already sent over 20 gas tankers to Europe in an attempt to find an alternative to Russian fuel. According to the media, the US authorities held video calls with officials around the world, trying to convince purchasers in South Korea, Japan, and other countries who have already paid for gas supplies to redirect them to Europe. In turn, European officials planned to visit Doha and Baku to secure gas supplies, the newspaper said.
The Kremlin has repeatedly said that Moscow always unfailingly fulfills its gas supplies obligations and has never given any reason to doubt its reliability. Russia has denied accusations of aggressive actions, saying that it does not threaten anyone and does not intend to attack anyone, adding that all statements about alleged Russia’s aggression are being used as an excuse to deploy more NATO military equipment near Russian borders.