ua en ru

EU to grant member states power to stop Russian gas imports

EU to grant member states power to stop Russian gas imports Russian gas in Europe may be fully cut off (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

The European Union is prepared to grant its member states the right to cease importing gas from Russia and Belarus, allowing them to avoid compensating Moscow for contracts, according to the Financial Times.

Under the proposed plan by Brussels, any EU member state will have the ability to block Russian and Belarusian companies from accessing capacities in their gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas terminals.

EU member states would be allowed to "partially or, where justified, completely limit" access to infrastructure to gas operators from Russia and Belarus "where necessary to protect their essential security interests", according to the FT.

According to a high-ranking EU official, this proposal could provide energy companies in the EU with a basis to exit contracts with Russian gas suppliers without the need to pay substantial compensation.

Negotiators from EU member countries and the European Parliament are expected to approve the draft text on Friday, December 8.

Russian gas in Europe

Despite the 27-member bloc gradually reducing its dependence on Russian energy sources since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, it still receives about a tenth of its gas supplies, including LNG deliveries, from Russia. Some member states, such as Austria and Hungary, continue to heavily rely on supplies from Russia.

Despite the ongoing war, Ukraine allows Russian gas to transit its territory to countries such as Austria, Slovakia, Italy, and Hungary. The current volume of transit is 42 million cubic meters per day.

However, Ukraine does not plan to renew its transit contract with Russian Gazprom, which expires in December 2024.

Gazprom has stopped publishing data on gas supplies to Europe. However, calculations indicate that volumes in 2023 have fallen by more than half.