EU imposes first-ever sanctions on Russian LNG

June 21, 2024
European Union countries agreed on package of sanctions against Russia, banning the re-export of Russian LNG within EU waters.

European Union (EU) countries have agreed on a 14th package of sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine, which includes their first restrictions on Russian gas. The package bans the re-export of Russian LNG within EU waters.

Nonetheless, it is widely believed that the measure will have minimal impact, as gas trans-shipments via EU ports to Asia account for only about 10% of Russia's total LNG exports.

The package also sanctions three Russian LNG projects and contains a clause aimed at enabling Sweden and Finland to cancel their Russian LNG contracts.

"This hard-hitting package will further deny Russia access to key technologies. It will strip Russia of further energy revenues. And tackle (President Vladimir) Putin’s shadow fleet and shadow banking network abroad," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

Europe's pipeline imports from Russia have decreased significantly since 2022, but LNG imports, particularly to Belgium, France, and Spain, have risen, making the EU the largest buyer of Russian LNG.