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UK And Germany See No Way Back To Energy Trade With Russia

The UK and Germany do not see a way back to energy trade relationships with Russia even if there is a regime change in Moscow, British and German officials said at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London on Wednesday.

“There is no way back to energy relationship with Russia that we saw before the war. This relationship has ended,” said Miguel Berger, Germany’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

The UK’s Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Graham Stuart, echoed those comments, saying that there would be no return to the previous energy relationship with Russia for the UK either, “although the UK has a much lower energy relationship with Russia than most EU countries.”

The UK and Germany, like many other Western U.S. allies, have embargoed imports of Russian oil, fuels, and coal, while Russian natural gas stopped flowing to Germany – previously Moscow’s top gas client in Europe – weeks before the sabotage on the Nord Stream pipelines at the end of September 2022.

After last year’s energy crisis and the halt of Russian gas pipeline supply via Nord Stream, Germany turned to floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) to import LNG until fixed terminals come online. The LNG import facilities at Wilhelmshaven, Brunsbuettel, and Lubmin are already operational and receive LNG cargoes.

Russia’s gas in Europe is not under sanctions or price caps, but the Russian market share of Europe’s gas supply has already slumped to below 10% from around 35% before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Last week, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, said Russia would never again be seen as a reliable supplier of energy.

During talks in Japan and Europe in the past weeks, “In all those conversations, it’s very clear to me that Russia is never again going to be viewed as a reliable energy supplier,” Pyatt said on a briefing on Friday.

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“So the question is how best to phase out our exposure to Russian supplies,” the U.S. official added. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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