The European Union should strive to reduce the import of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the point of its complete cessation.
This was stated by European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, who spoke at a conference in Warsaw, Ukrinform reports with reference to Reuters.
According to the European Commissioner, over the past 12 months, the EU imported 12.4 billion cubic meters of Russian LNG, and this year’s import volume could be the same as 2022, or even higher.
As noted, imports of Russian LNG to Europe in the period from January to July increased by 40% against the same period in 2021. And this despite the EU’s plans to abandon Russian fossil fuels by 2027. The bloc has already banned seaborne imports of Russian crude oil and petroleum products such as diesel fuel.
“We can and we must reduce Russian LNG exports to phase them out completely,” Simson said. “I want the parliament and the council to agree for the gas package to include robust provisions to allow member states individually to restrict, where security of supply allows it, the access to Russian LNG exports.”
More than 100 bcm of gas was pumped into EU storages ahead of the winter season, while gas consumption in the EU between August 2022 and June this year decreased by 17% compared to the average of the previous five years thanks to efficiency and demand reduction measures.
“It is estimated that the EU can save 65 bcm of gas from March 2023 to March 24,” she said.
As Ukrinform reported earlier, EU spokesman Adalbert Jahnz said the supply of Russian pipeline gas to EU countries after Russia invaded Ukraine decreased from 50% to 8% of EU’s total gas imports.