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    European parliament wants "full embargo" of Russian energy

Summary

The resolution is essentially symbolic but demonstrates growing support in the EU politic for banning Russian fuel imports.

by: Callum Cyrus

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Complimentary, Security of Supply, Corporate, Political, Territorial dispute, News By Country, France

European parliament wants "full embargo" of Russian energy

The European Parliament adopted a resolution by 513 votes to 22 that demands an "immediate full" embargo on all Russian gas, fuel, nuclear and coal imports, it said on April 7.

The resolution is non-binding and essentially symbolic as the European Parliament does not have executive powers to propose new restrictions on energy imports from a foreign country.

Any ban would have to be devised by the European Commission before it could be submitted for its approval, and would also need to win consensus among EU member state leaders.

Moreover, while EU leaders want to reduce Russian gas imports by two-third this year, some observers doubt the target will be achieved.  Russia currently satisfies 40% of overall EU consumption. European capitals have scrambled to find near-term alternatives, relying on existing LNG terminals to book more boarding of the liquefied fuel from various gas producing countries. A deal with the US agreed during a trade visit by US president Joe Biden is set to add an extra 15bn m3/yr of American LNG to European markets this year.

The parliament said 19 members abstained on the embargo resolution, which also demanded Russia be excluded from several multilateral organisations.

Parliamentarians said Russia should be barred from the G20 economic grouping and SWIFT cross-border payments system as well as the UN human rights committee, global law enforcement agency Interpol and the World Trade Organisation.

"This would be an important sign that the international community will not return to business as usual with the aggressor state," said the press statement.

The mood in EU member states is increasingly in favor of new embargoes on fossil fuels, though a total ban on natural gas seems a bridge too far for many. Brussels has announced plans for an embargo on Russian coal, but the impact is likely to be even higher electricity prices.

Germany and Ireland are among the EU nations to have got behind broader embargoes in recent weeks, while the Baltic state governments are banking on new LNG terminals and increased imports through Lithuania's Klaipeda LNG facility. More indigenous gas could also be produced over the medium term from new upstream developments in the likes of Romania and Greece, though this could take years to have a significant impact.