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Europe 'held hostage' by Russian nat gas: Hamm

Western powers in Europe are being "held hostage" by Russia, and the U.S. can help them gain energy independence through natural gas exports, oil magnate Harold Hamm told CNBC on Wednesday.

"We have a great thing going on with the American energy renaissance that's going on today," Hamm said on "Squawk Box." "It gave us a huge supply of natural gas, and certainly we ought to be exporting that to our European allies."

(Read more: Think US nat gas can threaten Russia? Think again)

Hamm, founder and CEO of Continental Resources, also said he thinks U.S. lawmakers seem more likely to lift a ban on crude oil exports now that Congress notices the massive supplies generated from a boom in domestic energy production. Hamm said lawmakers now realize the U.S. can become energy independent.

"America can't be an energy leader if we're going to hide behind a crude oil ban," Hamm said.

Hamm's comments come amid heightened tensions between Russia and the U.S. and its European allies over unrest in the Crimean peninsula. After a referendum over the weekend, Russia signed a treaty Tuesday to annex the Crimean region of Ukraine, a development that led to U.S.-led economic sanctions. On Wednesday, pro-Russia militias stormed a Ukrainian navy base on the Black Sea, taking the facility without violence.

Many European countries rely on Russia as a major exporter of natural gas.

—By CNBC's Jeff Morganteen. Follow him on Twitter at @jmorganteen. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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