The European Union has prepared a bill that will allow member states to block gas imports from Russia on their own. This is reported by the Financial Times.
According to the draft document, which is at the disposal of the newspaper, any EU country will be able to “partially or, where justified, completely restrict” the access of companies from Russia and Belarus to their gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. According to a senior EU official, the proposal will allow European energy companies to terminate contracts with Russian gas suppliers without paying significant compensation.
EU countries have imposed tough economic sanctions on Russia since Russia launched its military invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Moreover, they set a course to refuse imports of energy carriers - oil and gas - from Russia.
According to the newspaper, although the EU has gradually reduced its dependence on Russian energy after the war in Ukraine, it still receives about a tenth of its gas supplies from Russia. Some countries, in particular Austria and Hungary, are still dependent on Russian gas supplies.
In November, Russian LNG exports to Europe were the highest ever at 1.75 million tons. Spain and Belgium are among the largest importers of LNG from Russia.
The European Parliament is expected to approve the draft document on Friday.