Brussels wants to ban transit of Russian liquefied gas, while importing gas remains out of the question

Brussels wants to ban transit of Russian liquefied gas, while importing gas remains out of the question
Brussels wants to ban transit of Russian liquefied gas, while importing gas remains out of the question

The LNG proposal is part of the fourteenth sanctions package against Russia that the EU is currently working on. The successive sanctions – the toughest in EU history – are intended to weaken Russia economically, as punishment for the attack on Ukraine in 2022. The ambassadors of the EU countries will consider the still confidential Commission proposal for the first time on Wednesday. Its adoption requires unanimity and an agreement is not expected before the end of June.

The EU previously banned the import of coal and oil from Russia. Russian gas was left out of the picture because too many EU countries cannot do without it for the time being. There will be no change. The Commission proposal only affects the transit via the EU of Russian LNG to countries outside Europe. Imports for the EU itself remain unaffected.

About the author
Marc Peeperkorn has been the EU correspondent of de Volkskrant. He lives and works in Brussels.

If transit through the EU is no longer allowed, Russia will have to find other (more expensive) routes to transship the liquid gas. According to experts, this will cost Moscow billions of euros, money that cannot be used for the war in Ukraine. The Commission is also proposing a ban on European investments in LNG facilities in Russia.

Political parties

Another striking point in the Commission proposal is a ban on political parties, think tanks, foundations and other organizations from accepting money from the Russian state. The Czech secret service recently stated that a number of politicians in Europe are using the pro-Moscow news site Voice of Europe paid to express pro-Russian views. The Czech service did not report who they were.

Voice of Europe should in any case cease its activities in the EU, the Commission believes. She proposes adding the controversial news site to the blacklist for Russian media, just like the RIA Novosti news agency and newspapers Izvestija and Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

The Commission also wants to tighten a number of other existing sanctions to prevent evasion. For example, Russian cargo ships were already not welcome in European ports. If the Commission has its way, this will soon apply to all ships transporting Russian goods. This will tackle the Russian shadow fleet of ships sailing under a different flag. Restrictions on transport via Russian trucks and planes are also becoming stricter.


Because sanctions require the consent of all EU countries, an agreement on the fourteenth package will take some time. In the coming weeks, all countries will assess to what extent they are affected by the proposals. Hungary almost always applies the brakes initially, while Moscow and Budapest maintain good ties. Until now, Hungary has always agreed. Diplomats hope that government leaders can reach an agreement by the end of June.

The EU ambassadors will also consider again on Wednesday the proposal to skim the profits from Russian financial assets frozen in Europe and give them to Ukraine. This amounts to 3 to 5 billion euros per year. Diplomats are optimistic that the proposal – which has been discussed for a year – can finally be finalized this week.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Brussels ban transit Russian liquefied gas importing gas remains question


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