Brussels proposes including liquefied natural gas in the fourteenth package of sanctions against

Brussels proposes including liquefied natural gas in the fourteenth package of sanctions against
Brussels proposes including liquefied natural gas in the fourteenth package of sanctions against Russia

The EU continues its efforts to placate the Kremlin’s war machine following its two-year-old military invasion of Ukraine. And it is proposed to do so with a fourteenth package of sanctions in which, as a novelty, it is proposed to include liquefied natural gas (LNG) among the new round of penalties against Moscow.

The proposal formulated by the European Commission and the European External Action Service and transmitted to the countries includes, for the first time, liquefied natural gas, as confirmed by diplomatic sources to elEconomista.es. A proposal that will now become debated by representatives of the Member States for subsequent approval, which requires unanimity.

The Russian military invasion of Ukraine left a scenario of energy crisis in the EU. The high dependence of the community bloc on Moscow gas only provided the Kremlin with a weapon of blackmail, which used trade in this hydrocarbon as pressure measurement to the Member States at the gates of winter.

The block had no choice but to diversify its supply to fill subsoil gas reserves. The objective was to reach storage levels that would guarantee supply during the winter. The United States took advantage of the opportunity and wanted to take over from , with the closing of several contracts for the supply of liquefied natural gas to the EU.

If the gas that reached the EU via gas pipeline gradually stopped flowing, the same did not happen with liquefied natural gas. The new sanctions package would affect the Russian gas exports from the EU to third countries but would not have an impact, according to the proposal, on direct imports of this hydrocarbon from Moscow. The new round of sanctions will also veto the EU’s involvement in liquefied natural gas projects in Russia, according to the Politico portal.

Spain has become the EU country with the largest flow of imports of this hydrocarbon from Moscow. Spain closed 2023 with an increase in LNG imports from Russia of 43% compared to 2022. In addition, the closure of the Maghreb gas pipeline has led to a six-fold increase in dependence on Russian gas. It is the second customer of Russian natural gas, behind China.

Shipments of Russian ships to ports in Spain, France or Belgium have risen to 5 million tons in the first quarter of 2024. A figure that translates into one tenth of the Russian gas that previously went to the EU through gas pipelines It is now arriving via tanker ships.




 
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