EU implements new sanctions targeting Russian gas exports amid Ukraine conflict

(MENAFN) On Monday, European Union foreign ministers announced the agreement to enact a fresh round of sanctions against Russia in response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. These measures aim to address gaps in previous sanctions packages and mark the first time that Russian gas exports have been specifically targeted.

Since the outset of military operations in Ukraine in February 2022, Western powers have progressively intensified sanctions against Moscow, with European countries leading efforts to impose additional measures. The latest restrictions are designed to curtail Russia's revenue from liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, particularly by prohibiting ship-to-ship transfers near EU ports and allowing Sweden and Finland to terminate certain LNG contracts.

However, the sanctions stop short of imposing a blanket ban on LNG imports to the EU, acknowledging the continued reliance on Russian gas, which has surged since the conflict began. The new sanctions, constituting the fourteenth package, will come into effect after a nine-month transitional period. In addition to targeting LNG projects under construction in Russia, the measures also prohibit new investments and services in this sector.

Despite these actions, experts in the gas market suggest that the impact may be limited, as Europe remains a significant importer of Russian gas. Moreover, only a fraction of Russian LNG exports transit through EU ports to Asia, comprising approximately 10% of total shipments.

An EU official revealed that the financial ramifications for Russia resulting from the sanctions are estimated to be in the millions, rather than billions, of euros. Notably, some Central European nations still receive gas through pipelines from Russia via Ukraine, although the EU banned Russian oil imports in 2022, albeit with certain exceptions.

The EU's latest sanctions underscore its ongoing efforts to exert pressure on Russia in response to the conflict in Ukraine. While targeting gas exports represents a new tactic, the effectiveness of these measures remains uncertain, particularly given Europe's continued reliance on Russian energy supplies. 



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