HomeMediaLatest NewsCan the European Union suspend the import of Russian gas

Can the European Union suspend the import of Russian gas

31 May 2024

Belogoryev Alexey M. Research and Development Director, Director of the Center for Energy strategic analysis and forecasting

Alexey Belogoryev, Research and Development Director of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to the Prime agency on the prospects for imposing restrictions on Russian gas imports to the EU.

The reform of the EU gas market presupposes the right to suspend imports of "blue fuel" from Russia and Belarus, but does not oblige countries to do it, so the measure may not find wide application, Alexey Belogoryev told.

On May 21, the EU Council approved the reform of the gas market. The approved resolution and directive "on the domestic markets of renewable gas, natural gas and hydrogen", in particular, states that from 2026 the European Commission should be able to temporarily exclude the supply of pipeline gas and LNG from Russia and Belarus for a period of up to one year, which can be extended if justified.

Belogoryev explained that the EU member states have the right to suspend the import of Russian gas by limiting the submission of preliminary requests for capacity by any network user at entry points from Russia and Belarus. In other words, it will be impossible to reserve the available capacity of gas pipelines or regasification terminals for Russian gas supplies.

For Russian pipeline exports, it is only essential that Bulgaria, Slovakia, Austria and Lithuania do not impose a temporary restriction on capacity reservations, Belogoryev notes. Whether such restrictions will appear from the rest of the EU is a political question.

"Slovakia and Austria will not agree to this. In Bulgaria, this may become a topic of internal political discussion, but it will most likely not come to restrictions either. The biggest concern in the future is Lithuania, which provides transit of Russian gas to the Kaliningrad region," he concluded.

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