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Spain increased its import of Russian gas by a third last year

Spain increased its import of Russian gas by a third last year Spain increased its gas imports from Russia (photo: GettyImages)

Spain increased its import of Russian gas by 35% last year, with a significant portion arriving in the country by sea, according to Xinhua.

According to the Spanish energy company Enagas, which owns and operates the national gas network, in 2023, the import of natural gas from Russia reached a record 72,690 gigawatt-hours.

Energy expert and professor at the University of Barcelona, Albert Banal-Estanol, explained that due to the mostly halted gas pipelines between Europe and Russia, Spain's extensive gasification infrastructure has become a primary destination for Russian gas delivered by ships.

Despite pressure from the Spanish government on national energy companies to reduce the volume of Russian gas purchases, these efforts have not been successful. Companies aim to fulfill contracts made before the start of the Russian war against Ukraine, and the EU has not imposed sanctions on the import of Russian gas yet.

"Decisions on foreign trade must be taken within the EU framework. There has been no decision by the European Council to include gas imports from Russia among the prohibited and sanctioned activities," said Spain's Minister of Energy, Teresa Ribera.

Russian gas in Europe

While the European Union has gradually reduced its dependence on Russian energy supplies since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, it still receives gas from Russia. Some EU countries continue to import Russian gas despite the war in Ukraine, and Hungary is among them.

However, overall gas supplies from Gazprom to Europe have significantly decreased. According to Reuters, Gazprom's deliveries to Europe in 2023 have been cut by more than half.