After an oil boycott, EU countries are now buying much more Russian liquefied natural gas

The EU countries are buying much more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia than before the war in Ukraine. According to research by Global Witness, Spain and Belgium are just behind China in the rankings of the largest buyers.

The EU countries purchased more than 22 million cubic meters of liquefied natural gas in the first half of 2023, compared to 15 million cubic meters in the same period in 2021, an increase of 40% .  

Global Witness expects that EU purchases in Russia will be worth more than five billion euros this year. This is an increase that is much larger than the global average increase in Russian LNG imports, which is 6%. 

At the beginning of this year, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson called for a stop to the purchase of Russian LNG. Spanish Energy Minister Teresa Ribera urged Spanish buyers not to sign new contracts for Russian LNG, calling the situation “absurd”. 

A recent study shows that energy companies continued to trade LNG in Ukraine after the Russian invasion. Previous analyzes show that Shell has bought and sold 12 percent of all Russian exports. 

Spain is currently the second largest recipient of Russian LNG in the world after China, followed by Belgium. France, the Netherlands, Greece, Portugal, Finland, Italy and Sweden are also listed by Global Witness as current consumers of Russian LNG. 

From the beginning of the war, the EU banned the import of Russian coal and Russian oil, but spared the import of Russian gas.