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The European Union has managed to significantly cut its imports of Russian pipeline natural gas over the past year, but now it should stop all LNG imports from Russia, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said on Thursday, urging all EU member states and all companies not to sign new contracts with Russia.
Since September 2022, when Russia cut off deliveries via Nord Stream before the pipelines were sabotaged later that month, Russian gas has accounted for some 8% of all pipeline gas imported into the EU.
Norway has replaced Russia as Europe’s top pipeline natural gas supplier.
For example, Norway provided 33% of the gas Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, imported last year, followed by Russia, whose share fell to 22% for 2022, compared to a 52% share in 2021, the German network regulator Bundesnetzagentur said earlier this year.
While pipeline supply from Russia has slowed to a trickle, Europe has raised imports of LNG, including LNG from Russia.
Russia’s LNG supply to Europe jumped by around 20% last year from 2021, according to Refinitiv Eikon data cited by Reuters.
All Russian LNG exports rose by 8.6% in 2022 to around 45 billion cubic meters, more than half of which went to Europe, per Refinitiv Eikon’s data.
Speaking at a meeting of a European Parliament committee today, the EU’s energy commissioner Simson said, “We received last year around 20 bcm of Russian LNG.”
“I think that we can and should get rid of Russian gas completely as soon as possible, still keeping in mind our security of supply. I encourage all Member States and all companies to stop buying Russian LNG and not to sign any new contracts with Russia once the existing contracts have expired,” the commissioner added.
“Committing not to renew existing contracts with Russia is the best way to give a long-term assurance to our reliable partners that meaningful demand will stay.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.