It’s the oil and gas, stupid

In the Clinton administration lingo they might have said “It’s the oil and gas, stupid”

One piece of information that came out of the news conference was the reason we want to sanction Russia and to stop their pipeline to Germany. We have LNG (liquified natural gas) we want to sell to Europe, If Russia builds a pipeline that is more convenient to use than our LNG tankers, Europe will buy from Russia rather than the USA. Do the American people support using our military might to promote our commercial interests?

Time has published a press conference transcript in the article Read a Transcript of Trump and Putin’s Joint Press Conference.

TRUMP: Well, actually I called him a competitor. And a good competitor he is. And I think the word “competitor” is a compliment.

I think that we will be competing when you talk about the pipeline. I’m not sure, necessarily, that it’s in the best interests of Germany or not, but that was a decision that they made. We’ll be competing — as you know, the United States is now — or soon will be, but I think it actually is right now the largest in the oil and gas world.

So we’re going to be selling LNG, and we’ll have to be competing with the pipeline and I think will compete successfully, although there is a little advantage locationally.

So I just wish them luck. I mean, I did. I discussed with Angela Merkel in pretty strong tones. But I also know where they’re all coming from and they have a very close source. So we’ll see how that all works out.

PUTIN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): If I may, I’d throw in some two cents.

We talked to Mr. President, including this subject as well.

We are aware of the stance of President Trump, and I think that we, as a major oil and gas power, and the United States as a major oil and gas power as well, we could work together on regulation of international markets, because neither of us is actually interested in the plummeting of the prices. And the consumers will suffer as well, and the consumers in the United States will suffer as well. And the shale gas production will suffer. Because beyond a sudden price breakup (ph), it’s no longer profitable to — to produce gas.

But nor we are interested in driving prices up, because it will drain just as — just as from all other sectors of the economy, from (inaudible) building (ph), et cetera. So we do have space for cooperation here. That’s the first thing.

Then about the Nord Stream 2, Mr. President voiced his concerns about the possibility of disappearance of transit through Ukraine. And I reassured Mr. President that Russia stands ready to maintain this transit. Moreover, we stand ready to extend this transit contract that’s about to expire next year in case — if the dispute between the economic entitles — dispute will be settled in the Stockholm arbitration court.

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