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Lithuania urges EU to legislate Russian gas exit by 2027

Lithuania urges EU to legislate Russian gas exit by 2027 Photo: Lithuania offers EU to enshrine the refusal of Russian gas at the legislative level (Getty Images)

Lithuania has stated in a document that the European Union should fix into law its plan to cut off Russian gas by 2027, reports Reuters.

According to the document, the EU energy ministers will discuss this proposal next week.

Gas imports to Europe from Russia fell sharply after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and the European Commission proposed that Europe end its dependence on Russian fossil fuels by 2027.

But EU countries have so far avoided imposing sanctions on imports of Russian gas or liquefied natural gas, on which countries such as Austria and Hungary still depend heavily.

Lithuania's proposal

In a document prepared by Lithuania and seen by Reuters, the European Commission proposed a law that would set 2027 as a hard deadline for countries to phase out Russian gas and LNG.

The idea would be to give national governments a stronger legal basis to cut Russian imports (for example, by terminating long-term Russian gas contracts) while avoiding sanctions.

"Such legislation should empower Member States to take the necessary measures at national level to meet such a deadline," the document says.

LNG supplies

The EU is also in the process of approving gas market rules that will allow countries to block Russian imports, preventing Russian companies from reserving capacity in their gas and LNG infrastructure.

However, some EU countries said it was unclear whether they would be able to use the option, which could have ripple effects beyond the importing country's borders.

For example, Belgium and Spain import Russian LNG and then ship the fuel to buyers in other countries. The article also writes that pipeline gas imports from Russia have fallen sharply since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, but LNG imports have not.

Russian gas in Europe

Although the EU gradually reduced its dependence on Russian energy carriers after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, it still receives gas from Russia. Some EU countries continue to import Russian gas, despite the war against Ukraine. In particular, Hungary is engaged in this.

It was recently reported that Spain increased its imports of Russian gas last year by 35%. Most of it comes to the country by sea.

Also, gas from Russia continues to flow to Czechia. In January, the import of Russian gas was about 62% of the total volume.