US lawmaker urges rethink of Europe gas strategy
WASHINGTON (AP) - A senior Republican lawmaker is urging the Obama administration to do more to help Nato allies in Europe ease dangerous dependence on Russia's gas monopolies.
Republican Senator Richard Lugar is advocating legislation that would remove restrictions on US gas exports for all Nato countries.
He argues that the possibility of US exports could remove leverage Russia could exert on vulnerable allies by threatening to cut off gas supplies. He says the administration should also focus more on helping the completion of strategically routed pipelines from central Asia to Europe.
Mr Lugar has long been a leading voice on Nato issues and was a mentor to US President Barack Obama when he was a senator.