The EU is preparing to give its member states powers to block Russian gas imports in a bid to curb Moscow's energy revenues, the Financial Times reported on Dec. 8, citing a draft document seen by the outlet.
Despite Brussels' target to be free of Russian fossil fuels by 2027, several EU members remain heavily reliant on Russian gas, and imports of liquified natural gas (LNG) from Russia reached record heights this year.
The legal text prepared by the EU would allow member states to ban Russian and Belarusian companies from buying capacities in their gas pipelines and LNG terminals, the Financial Times wrote.
This would allow European energy firms to leave contracts with Russian suppliers without paying fees, a senior EU official told the news outlet.
The draft text is expected to be approved by representatives from the member states and the European Parliament later on Dec. 8.
This measure is a part of Brussels' strategy to reduce the bloc's energy dependency on Russia amid the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
According to a September report by the Helsinki-based Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, the EU remains the leading consumer of Russia's pipeline gas and LNG, buying out 41% and 50% of Moscow's exports, respectively.
While some European countries have made strides in diversifying their gas supplies, states like Hungary and Austria still rely heavily on Russian imports.