UK stops Russian gas imports
The UK has implemented a ban on imports of Russian liquified natural gas (LNG) that came into effect on January 1, 2023, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office confirmed on Sunday in a post on Twitter.
The British Foreign Office had announced plans to halt supplies of Russian LNG in late October. The measure is aimed at helping London to reduce its reliance on Russian energy.
On Saturday, the office said Britain was “supporting countries around the world to reduce their own dependency” on Russian fossil fuels. It explained that the move had followed Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, and was aimed at cutting the nation’s energy revenues.
In 2021, the UK imported 3.12 billion cubic meters of Russian gas, which accounted for some 4% of the nation’s total consumption. On average, Britain consumes around 75 billion cubic meters of gas a year.
In June, Kwasi Kwarteng, who was then UK business and energy secretary, said the country had received very little gas from Russia, adding that even those imports were down 75% compared to 2021.
London also said it would phase out imports of Russian oil and oil products – such as diesel – by the end of 2021. The announcement was made in late February, shortly after the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine began.
According to the UK Office for National Statistics, the sanctions-hit country was Britain’s biggest supplier of refined oil, providing 24% of the nation’s total supply. At the same time, the share of crude oil imports from Russia totalled 5.9% in 2021.
Data tracked by the office shows that, in 2022, the US became the largest source of LNG supplies to Britain. In 2023, London is planning to replace Russian LNG with supplies from Qatar and Azerbaijan.
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