European Union countries and companies should no longer sign new contracts for the purchase of Russian liquefied natural gas, in line with the EU bloc’s strategy to reduce its energy dependence on Moscow, European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said, according to Reuters.
Last year, Russia cut natural gas pipelines to Europe, causing an energy crisis and sending prices to record highs. In response, the EU has pledged to completely phase out Russian fossil fuels by 2027, and last year replaced two-thirds of the natural gas normally supplied by Russia.
But even as Moscow has cut pipeline natural gas supplies, Russian liquefied natural gas shipments to Europe rose by more than a third last year to 22 billion cubic meters from 16 billion cubic meters in 2021, according to an analysis by by the EU and consulted by Reuters.
“We can and must give up Russian gas completely, as quickly as possible, while maintaining the security of supply,” said Kadri Simson at a meeting with MEPs. “I encourage all member states and all companies to stop buying Russian liquefied gas, and not to sign new contracts with Russia when existing contracts expire,” Simson said, adding that this could reassure the other gas suppliers with whom Europe is trying to negotiate agreements, according to Agerpres.
The quantities of liquefied gas delivered by Russia are much smaller than the 155 billion cubic meters of natural gas that Moscow delivered annually to Europe through pipelines, before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. Europe has replaced a large part of Russian gas with liquefied gas from other suppliers, such as the US, but also through renewable energies and energy saving programs.