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Reuters: Lithuania pushes for EU-wide deadline to end reliance on Russian gas

As the EU’s energy ministers are set to meet in Brussels on 4 March, Lithuania has prepared a document suggesting that the European Commission should introduce legislation to enforce the 2027 deadline for phasing out Russian gas and LNG.
Russian gas
Illustrative photo. Credit: Arania
Reuters: Lithuania pushes for EU-wide deadline to end reliance on Russian gas

Lithuania has proposed that the European Union should enshrine in law its goal to cease using Russian gas by 2027, Reuters reported, citing a document it has reviewed.

This suggestion comes as the EU’s energy ministers are set to discuss the matter in Brussels on 4 March. The move aims to provide a firm legal basis for EU countries to reduce their dependence on Russian gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) without resorting to sanctions.

Europe’s gas imports from Russia have significantly decreased since the onset of Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine in 2022, and the European Commission has recommended ending the reliance on Russian fossil fuels by 2027. However, EU nations have yet to impose sanctions on Russian gas imports, with countries like Austria and Hungary still heavily reliant on them.

The document drafted by Lithuania suggests that the European Commission should introduce legislation to enforce the 2027 deadline for phasing out Russian gas and LNG, Reuters said.

“Such legislation should empower Member States to take the necessary measures at national level to meet such a deadline,” the document reportedly states.

The EU is also considering gas market rules that would allow countries to block Russian imports by preventing Russian firms from booking capacity on their gas and LNG infrastructure. Nonetheless, some EU countries have expressed uncertainty about whether they can use this option due to potential ripple effects beyond their borders.

While Europe’s pipeline imports of gas from Russia have plummeted since the war in Ukraine began, LNG imports have not seen a similar decline. The upcoming meeting of EU energy ministers will be crucial in determining the path forward in reducing the bloc’s reliance on Russian gas.

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