France boosts purchases of Russian gas


(MENAFN) According to a recent report by Politico citing data from the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), France has significantly ramped up its purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia, recording a staggering 75 percent increase since the beginning of 2024 compared to the same period last year. This surge in imports has positioned France as the leading importer of Russian LNG within the European Union, surpassing all other member states in both total volumes and monetary value.

In the first quarter of 2024, French imports of Russian LNG amounted to EUR600 million, representing the highest monetary value among EU member states. Furthermore, France's total imports of Russian LNG for the year reached 1.5 million tons, significantly exceeding the figures from the corresponding period in the previous year, which stood at 882,209 tons.

These developments come amidst efforts by the European Union to reduce its dependency on Russian energy sources following the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions imposed on Moscow. While gas has not been targeted by European Union sanctions, restrictions on seaborne exports of Russian oil and disruptions to gas supplies due to sabotage and pipeline issues have impacted overall trade between Russia and the European Union.

Despite the European Union's push for energy independence and efforts to diversify its energy sources, France's substantial increase in LNG imports from Russia underscores the challenges faced in achieving this goal. The surge in French imports highlights the complexities of balancing energy security concerns with economic and geopolitical realities, particularly in the context of ongoing global tensions and disruptions in energy markets.

Furthermore, the European Union's unveiling of a plan to end its reliance on fossil fuel imports from Russia by 2027 reflects the bloc's broader strategic objectives in reducing dependency on external energy sources. However, the significant increase in French imports of Russian LNG presents a potential obstacle to the realization of these ambitions, emphasizing the need for coordinated efforts and policy measures at the European Union level to address energy security challenges effectively.

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