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EU lawmaker alliance calls for ban on all Russian energy, including gas

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A broad coalition of members of the European Parliament has written to the leaders of EU institutions urging them to ban all Russian energy from Europe, including pipeline gas and LNG.

“The time for half-measures has passed,” a coalition of 60 EU lawmakers wrote in a letter, seen by Euractiv, calling for harsher measures against the Kremlin and its energy exports. 

We “call on the European Commission to initiate and on member states to adopt without delay a total ban on Russian energy commodities in the EU market,” says the letter, initiated by the green lawmaker Ville Niinistö from Finland.

Co-signed by lawmakers from several EU countries belonging to the centre-right, centre-left, centrist liberals, national conservatives, and the Greens, the letter addresses EU leaders and foreign and energy ministers.

Europe “remains the largest customer of Russian pipeline and LNG gas,” the lawmakers note, based on January 2024 research by Finland-based non-profit CREA. The researches estimate that the EU has paid more than €13 billion for its gas imports from Russia since the 2022 oil ban, imposed following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The lawmakers stress that given the “incredibly heartless, cynical murder of Russia’s bravest fighter for freedom,” the opposition politician Alexey Navalny, it is “indecent, morally wrong and strategically myopic” to continue trading with the Kremlin. 

Navalny, who died in prison on 16 February, was laid to rest in Moscow on Friday (1 March).

A European law to put this ambition into practice was informally adopted in December 2023 as part of the “hydrogen and decarbonised gas package” that empowers EU countries to decide how much Russian gas and LNG are allowed into their countries.

When the law enters into force, which could be as early as mid-2024, it would be up to each EU country to make this decision – although countries like Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria remain unable or unwilling to cut Russian gas flows.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

Read more with Euractiv

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