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Minister: Italy has no reason to oppose new EU sanctions against Russian gas

by Kateryna Hodunova April 29, 2024 10:19 AM 2 min read
Italian Environment and Energy Security Minister Gilberto Pichetto Fratin speaking on Italian television, Nove 29th, 2022 (Photo by Massimo Di Vita/Archivio Massimo Di Vita/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
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Italy has overcome its dependence on Russian gas and will not oppose the proposed package of EU sanctions on liquified natural gas (LNG), Italian Energy Minister Gilberto Pichetto Fratin said, as reported by Politico on April 28.

The European bloc has already adopted 13 packages in response to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, aiming to undermine Moscow's economic output and the ability to sustain the war.

In early April, EU Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis announced that the 14th package is in the works. Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom later said the new package could include an import ban on Russian LNG, among other sanctions.

"Italy is right now in a condition to even do without Russian gas altogether," Fratin told Politico on April 26.

Fratin announced in April 2023 that Italy had emancipated from Russian gas as an energy source, regarding the increase of its pipeline gas imports from the east via the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline. Italy also signed agreements with Algeria and Libya to diversify its supplies.

The official figures show that Russian shipments comprised less than 5% of Italy's overall gas imports last year, down from 43% in 2020.

"We have diversified; we have various sources, and we have the regasification terminals, so we have sufficient supply to be relaxed," Fratin said, adding that Italy "has no reason to oppose a process of new sanctions" on Russian LNG.

Italy, which participates in the G7 climate talks, is currently focusing on strategies for reducing emissions to meet net-zero goals and plans to collaborate with African countries, according to the minister.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's government previously designed an investment plan for Africa to create an energy transit hub between Africa and Europe. The plan also includes boosting local economies to fight poverty, climate change, and other root causes of immigration from Africa to Europe.

Italy loans 100 million euros to bolster Ukraine’s energy sector
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