Tankers run by US energy corporations are delivering liquefied natural gas (LNG) bought in Russia to the Antwerp Gas Terminal in Belgium, reports Belgian daily Le Soir, as part of an investigation based on the 'Paradise Papers' leak.
On Sunday, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), reportedly financed through George Soros funds, released over 13 million documents from the world's leading offshore law companies. The documents revealed that four cargo ships owned by Navigator Holdings bought gas produced by Russian petrochemical company Sibur.
The LNG was reportedly loaded at the Russian Baltic port of Ust Luga. The financial papers also revealed that US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has a 35 percent stake in Navigator Holdings, which is registered in the Marshall Islands.
Earlier this year, the Russian envoy to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said the US wouldn't be able to replace Russian gas on the European market even if it were free.
The probe reveals the EU, which is actively building new LNG terminals to lessen its dependence on Russian natural gas, is currently purchasing Russian fuel but at a higher price and technically not from Russia.
"US companies are ready to search for one-use solutions that bring some profit to them but make it difficult for other states to do business. That characterizes the whole American approach to trade," said an expert of the International Institute of Humanitarian and Political Studies Vladimir Bruter, as quoted by Russia's federal news agency.
In legal terms, the current situation is not breaking international or any other laws, but the results are yielding fruit for the US, according to the analyst. Although it is not clear how American companies are not violating US sanctions by working with Russian energy firms.
"Nothing personal, it is just business. Americans have bought Russian gas at a profit, and now they are selling it at a profit, concurrently trying to drive Moscow out of the energy market," Bruter said.