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EU pressures European importers to cut down Russian LNG purchases in 2024

by Martin Fornusek March 16, 2024 5:47 PM 2 min read
A photograph shows the Utrenneye field, the resource base for Novatek's Arctic LNG 2 project, located in the Gydan Peninsula on the Kara Sea shore line in the Arctic circle, some 2500 km from Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 30, 2021. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images)
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The EU is increasing pressure on European buyers to limit purchases of Russian liquified natural gas (LNG) in 2024, Bloomberg reported on March 16, citing EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson.

Western countries imposed extensive sanctions against Russian fossil fuels after the outbreak of the full-scale war in Ukraine to undermine one of Moscow's chief revenue sources.

While the flow of Russian pipeline gas into the EU dropped in 2022, several European countries saw record purchases of Russian LNG last year. The EU has not imposed any restrictions on buying LNG from Russia.

"My message was that this year must bring further disengagement from Russian exports," Simson told Bloomberg following an EU-U.S. Energy Council meeting in Washington.

"In the EU, we are progressively building up pressure on European players to reduce Russian LNG purchases, and here again confidence in U.S. supplies is important."

The U.S. plays an important role in the EU's plan to phase out Russian gas by 2027, being its leading LNG supplier, followed by Qatar and Russia. According to the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, half of Russian LNG exports between December 2022 and October 2023 were directed to the EU market.

To reduce the flow of Russian LNG, the EU is preparing to allow member states to ban Russian and Belarusian companies from buying capacities in their gas pipelines and LNG terminals, the Financial Times wrote.

Several countries, such as Latvia and Lithuania, have already stopped buying LNG from Russia. Finland said it would also impose an import ban in 2025.

Opinion: Europe has a Russian fossil fuel addiction
Over two years into Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and Europe is still addicted to Russian fossil fuels. In spite of 13 sanctions packages against Russia and endless words of solidarity for Ukraine, recent data has revealed that many European Union countries continue to import massive amou…
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