European Union Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson called for reducing imports of Russian liquefied natural gas after shipments of the fuel to the bloc rose over the past seven months.
“It may well remain this year as high as last year or be even slightly bigger,” Simson told a conference in Warsaw Thursday. “We can’t be happy with that.”
Simson called on EU member states and the bloc’s parliament to include “robust” provisions in proposed regulations that would allow national governments to restrict Russian LNG imports without introducing new sanctions. This would help the EU “completely phase out” the shipments, she said.
LNG flows from Russia have been mostly down year-on-year since March, but remain far above 2021 levels, according to ship-tracking data. The shipments to Europe hit a record last year.
The 27-nation bloc has never formally discussed an EU-wide embargo on Russian gas, including LNG, but Brussels has looked at ways for individual member states to ban the fuel after President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The bloc’s lawmakers are considering a proposal that would allow member states to temporarily prevent Russian exporters from booking capacity at import terminals.