EU Parliament Approves Option to Block Russian LNG Imports

  • 12 Apr 2024

On 11th April 2024, European Parliament granted authority for European governments to potentially halt Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, offering a legal avenue to restrict gas infrastructure capacity bookings.

Key Points

  • Avoiding Sanctions: The European Union refrains from imposing sanctions on Russian gas, crucial for some member states' energy needs.
  • Legal Route: The new gas policy establishes a legal mechanism for governments to prevent Russian gas deliveries, although no major importer has signaled intent to use it yet.
  • Market Rules: EU gas market regulations permit governments to temporarily restrict Russian and Belarusian gas exporters from bidding for capacity on infrastructure delivering piped gas and LNG into Europe.
  • Shift in Gas Routes: Russia reduced pipeline gas deliveries to Europe post its 2022 Ukraine invasion, but LNG deliveries continue, primarily via ports in Spain, Belgium, and France.
  • Increased Deliveries: Russian LNG shipments to Europe surged to 22 bcm in 2023 from around 16 bcm in 2021, as per EU analysis.
  • Approval Process: A reinforced majority of EU countries must endorse the policy before implementation, expected to proceed without alterations.