Report: EU seeks to block Russian LNG imports
The European Union is looking into options for member states to effectively ban Russian shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) without imposing new energy sanctions, according to a document seen by Bloomberg News.
The bloc’s energy ministers are ready to approve the proposal, which would give member governments the ability to temporarily ban Russian exporters from pre-booking infrastructure capacity needed for the shipments.
If adopted, the mechanism could potentially reduce the flow of energy from Russia to European consumers.
The issue is expected to be discussed at a ministerial meeting in Brussels later on Tuesday. According to Bloomberg, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland are pushing for new EU powers to block Russian energy imports.
The proposal, however, still needs to be approved by the European Parliament, which has put forward its own solution to curtailing Russian LNG imports.
The move is part of the EU's drive to wean itself off Russian LNG following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. While pipeline flows of natural fas to EU member states have fallen to record lows, LNG supplies have surged.
The EU’s energy commissioner, Kadri Simson, called on the member states to switch away from Russian liquefied gas last month.