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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.

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EU Prepares to Tighten Screws on Russian LNG Imports

Yamal LNG

In a move that could reshape Europe's energy landscape, the European Commission is poised to propose new sanctions targeting Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports. According to Reuters sources close to the matter, the proposed measures will include a ban on shipments within the EU and sanctions on three Russian LNG projects.

The European Commission's decision comes amid growing concerns over Europe's reliance on Russian energy, particularly in the wake of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. While the EU imposed a ban on Russian seaborne oil imports earlier this year, it has thus far refrained from taking similar action against LNG imports. However, with imports of Russian LNG surging since the start of the war, accounting for around 15% of EU gas supply, pressure has been mounting on Brussels to act.

The proposed ban on trans-shipments within the EU is aimed at preventing the diversion of Russian LNG cargoes to other destinations. Currently, Belgium, France, and Spain are the largest importers of Russian LNG, with many of these imports being re-exported to other countries, including China. By imposing restrictions on trans-shipments, the EU hopes to ensure that Russian LNG does not find its way to markets outside of Europe.

In addition to the ban on trans-shipments, the European Commission is also considering sanctions on three Russian LNG projects - Arctic LNG 2, Ust Luga, and Murmansk. While the details of these sanctions are still being discussed, they are expected to target projects that are not yet operational, further complicating Russia's efforts to expand its LNG exports.

The move by the European Commission reflects growing unease within the EU over its dependence on Russian energy. With tensions between Russia and the West showing no signs of abating, European policymakers are increasingly looking for ways to reduce Europe's exposure to Russian energy supplies. By targeting Russian LNG imports, the EU hopes to send a clear message to Moscow that its actions in Ukraine will not go unpunished.

However, the proposed sanctions are likely to face resistance from some EU member states, particularly those that are heavily reliant on Russian energy. Nevertheless, with pressure mounting on Brussels to take action, it seems increasingly likely that Europe's energy landscape could be in for a significant shake-up in the coming months.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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