The EU is set to give member states powers to end gas imports from Russia and Belarus nearly two years after Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Report informs referring to the Financial Times.
Any member state will be able to ban companies from Russia and Belarus from buying capacity in its gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas terminals, according to a draft legal text proposed by Brussels and seen by the Financial Times.
The proposal could provide a basis for EU energy companies to get out of contracts with Russian gas providers without having to pay hefty compensation, according to a senior official of the bloc.
While the 27-member bloc has gradually reduced its dependency on Russian energy following the February 2022 invasion, it still gets about a tenth of its gas supply, including LNG shipments, from the country. Several member states including Austria and Hungary still rely heavily on Russian supplies.
The European Commission wants to push member states to cut off remaining gas imports. Some member states including Poland and the Baltic states have been vocal in demanding tougher action against Moscow.
EU member states would be allowed to “partially or, where justified, completely limit” access to infrastructure to gas operators from Russia and Belarus “where necessary to protect their essential security interests”, according to the draft legislation. Negotiators from member states and the European parliament are expected to approve the draft text on December 8.