The European Union is unlikely to agree to an idea to ban natural gas imports from the pipelines from Russia, where Moscow has already cut off the gas supply to Europe, EU diplomats have told POLITICO.
Earlier this week, the Financial Times reported that the G7 and EU could target to ban the resumption of gas imports via those pipelines, even if Russia decides one day to resume sending gas through them.
The proposal could be finalized at the G7 meeting of the world’s most industrialized nations in Hiroshima, Japan, later this week, officials involved in the talks told FT.
The G7 is looking at further cuts to the supply of energy from Russia, “including preventing the reopening of avenues previously shut down by Russia’s weaponisation of energy,” at least until “there is a resolution of the conflict,” according to a draft statement FT has seen.
However, it is unlikely that such an idea could pass in the EU, and it may not even be acceptable to G7 and EU members Italy and Germany, which have pipelines linked with Russia.
Analysts and EU officials told POLITICO there is no consensus to support the idea of banning the resumption of Russian gas flows.
“There is too much resistance from the countries dependent on the remaining gas,” a diplomat from an EU member state whose Russian gas supply was cut off in 2022 told POLITICO.
“The 11th sanctions package is almost done and inserting this huge measure at this moment is not going to work,” the diplomat added.
Meanwhile, Russia’s natural gas exports via pipeline to Europe fell by 11.4% in the first half of May compared to the average pipeline flows in April, estimates from Reuters showed earlier this week.
Russia still sends some gas via pipelines to Europe via one transit route through Ukraine and via TurkStream.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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