In the run-up to the Internation Energy Agency Ministerial Meeting, which is taking place in Paris on 13 and 14 February, Razom We Stand has appealed to ministers of energy of EU member states, as well as Norway and UK, with an urge to take concrete steps to phase-out imports of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Europe.
Ukrainian peace and climate advocates praise the UK government’s initiative to start negotiations with European neighbours to stop importing Russian LNG amid concerns it could end up in the UK gas system. Russian LNG imports into the UK have been banned since January 2023.
Oleh Savytskyi, Campaigns Director at Razom We Stand, stated, "It is extremely disappointing to see countries like Spain, France and Belgium continue and even expand their unnecessary reliance on Russian LNG. Meanwhile, stopping Russian expansion on the global LNG market is a matter of life and death for us in Ukraine. The Kremlin continues to use fossil fuel exports to fund its war chest and inflict more pain and suffering on innocent people in Ukraine on a daily basis. Rigorous and sustained international sanctions on Russia's fossil fuel industry, and its strategic projects like Arctic LNG 2, can cripple the Kremlin's profits, ensuring a safer, more stable world."
Oil and gas companies, including Novatek, owner of the Arctic LNG 2 project, today constitute the most significant taxpayers in Russia, playing a pivotal role in shaping the balance of payments and stabilising the national currency. Since its war began on February 24, 2022, Russia has amassed more than $600 billion in profits from fossil fuel exports and is rushing to develop new Siberian and Arctic fields. However, if international sanctions on Russia’s fossil fuel industry are maintained and rigorously enforced, the International Energy Agency projects that the Kremlin’s profits from oil and gas could plummet by 40 to 50% by 2030.
U.K. Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho recently announced that the UK government is “working closely with European allies to help end their dependency” and noted that European countries should “drive Putin out of the market for good”.
Spain, France and Belgium are the three biggest importers of Russian LNG in the EU. The trade was estimated to be worth €16 billion in 2022, with imports down only slightly in 2023. These nations do not need to continue investing in Russian LNG, with the UK and Europe seeing unprecedented falls in the use of Fossil Fuels by transitioning to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, mitigating economic losses in the trillions. Record-breaking growth of renewables not only solves energy demand but also mitigates climate challenges that drain the economy by trillions of euros, according to the Wall St. Journal.
Razom We Stand urges energy ministers of key European countries to swiftly adopt full and complete sanctions targeting Russia's fossil fuel industry, particularly its LNG exports. Such measures are crucial not only for achieving peace in Ukraine but also for European and global stability, sending a powerful message to deter any further wars of aggression funded by exports of fossil fuels.
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