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Spain has imported 84 percent more Russian LNG since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, highlighting the persistent reliance the EU has on Russian energy.
According to Bloomberg, Spain's intake of Russian-derived LNG have climbed 84 percent since early last year after it had a falling out with another of its gas suppliers—Algeria. Spain received 14 percent of its LNG needs from Russia in the period from March of last year to February of this year—a 6.2 percentage point increase.
And it's not just Spain. Russia's LNG exports to Europe last year increased 30 percent as the sanctioned country cut back on its natural gas exports to Europe via pipeline.
Spain has established itself as the top buyer of Russian LNG so far in 2023, with Belgium and France taking second and third place, respectively, ship tracking data from Bloomberg show. Spain's reliance on Russia's energy goes beyond LNG, achieving the position of top spender on all things Russian energy, with $1 billion spent on combined oil and gas from Russia, Centre of Research of Energy and Clean Air data shows.
Spain's sharp uptick in LNG imports from Russia is bound to catch the eye of EU regulators, who has prodded its member countries to take less--not more--Russian energy projects. The bloc's ultimate goal is to stop importing Russian energy products altogether to cut off Russia's revenue stream, which it could then use to finance its actions in Ukraine.
But countries such as China and India have no qualms about importing Russian crude oil and natural gas. In fact, much of what Europe formerly purchased from Russia is now being snapped up on the cheap by major purchasers in Asia. Some of these products eventually make their way back to the EU.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.