EU state's imports of Russian gas hit pre-sanctions level – media
Greece has boosted purchases of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) this year despite the EU’s pledge to cut its energy dependence on Moscow, Greek online daily Kathimerini reported on Thursday.
According to the outlet, the deliveries meant the share of Russian gas on the Greek market in the first nine months of the year jumped from 35.7% to 45%. It has now reached the same level as before the Ukraine conflict and the Western sanctions on Moscow that followed.
Russia emerged as Greece’s second-largest LNG supplier in January-September, behind the US. However, Russian LNG deliveries accounted for 72% of Greece’s total gas imports last month.
According to Kathimerini, the surge is the result of Moscow’s low-price energy supply policy, intended to attract more buyers and limit revenue losses after Russia was forced to reduce pipeline gas deliveries to the EU. This happened in part due to Ukraine-related Western sanctions, but also because of technical challenges such as last year’s sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines.
While Brussels has banned imports of Russian seaborne oil and vowed to stop consuming Russian gas by 2027, Russian LNG has so far gone unsanctioned despite repeated calls from a number of EU officials.
According to a report by think tank Global Witness based on Kpler data, Greece’s EU peers have also boosted imports of Russian LNG this year. In the first seven months of 2023, LNG deliveries from Russia to the bloc surged by 40% compared to pre-sanctions levels, making Russia the EU’s second largest LNG supplier. According to the latest estimates, 52% of all Russian LNG exports between January and July went to the EU.
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