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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Energy Commissioner Calls On The EU To Phase Out Russian LNG Imports

  • The EU Energy Commissioner believes the bloc should phase out the import of LNG from Russia.
  • While the EU has banned Russian oil imports and natural gas imports via pipeline have slowed dramatically, LNG imports are climbing.
  • The EU bought 52% of Russia’s LNG exports between January and July 2023, compared to 49% in 2022 and 39% in 2021
LNG

The European Union should phase out imports of LNG from Russia instead of buying more of Moscow’s super-chilled fuel, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said on Thursday.  

Unlike Russian oil, Russian gas is not banned or under sanctions in Europe. But while pipeline gas supply from Russia has slowed to a trickle, Europe has raised imports of LNG, including LNG from Russia.

Russia’s LNG exports to the EU have surged this year as the bloc is now buying significantly more Russian LNG than it did before the invasion of Ukraine.

The EU’s liquefied natural gas imports from Russia jumped by 40% between January and July 2023 compared to the same period of 2021, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, campaign NGO Global Witness said last month.

Overall, the EU bought 52% of Russia’s LNG exports between January and July 2023, compared to 49% in 2022 and 39% in 2021, according to Global Witness’s report.

At an energy security conference in Warsaw, Poland, Commissioner Simson said on Thursday, “We see that over the past seven months Russia has exported 12.4 bcm of LNG to EU destinations. Russian LNG exports may well remain this year as high as they were last year, or even slightly bigger. We cannot be happy with that.”

“We can and we must reduce Russian LNG exports, to phase them out completely,” Simson said, urging again all companies and EU member states to do their part.

In March this year, Simson had already urged all EU member states and all companies not to sign new LNG import contracts with Russia. 

In today’s remarks, she said, “I call on the European Parliament and the Council to agree, in the context of the gas package, on a robust provision to allow Member States individually to restrict, when security of supply allows it, access to Russian LNG exports.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on September 14 2023 said:
    The EU has let its enmity to Russia and its slavishness to the United States blind it to the fact that Western sanctions against Russia, bans on its crude oil and petroleum products and a price cap have failed miserably to cripple the Russian economy. It has also blinded itself to the fact that these sanctions and its contributions of financial and military aid to Ukraine to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars have emaciated its economy. In fact the Russian economy is in far better shape than those who imposed the sanctions. The Russian economy is growing this year at 2% compared with 1.2%-2.0% for the United States and 0.8% for the EU.

    So what damage could sanctioning Russian LNG exports do? Nothing but its impact on an EU continuing to import US LNG at prices 3-4 times higher than the price sold to US citizens will be very destructive to its economy leading to more emaciation of the economy and lower standards of living for them.

    Russia won’t lose since the bulk of its LNG is shipped to China via the Northern Sea Route (NSR).

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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