A plan to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas looks shaky

FOR YEARS, western European countries have worried about their access to gas, almost two-fifths of which is supplied by Russian pipes. These fears have not receded since in 2014 Russia cut off gas to Ukraine, the main thoroughfare through which its gas arrives in EU countries. Three times since 2006, rows with Russia have stopped gas flowing through Ukrainian pipelines, leaving customers down the line shivering. EU leaders have long pondered other sources, such as American LNG, but the latter is far more expensive.

Such worries have flared again even as, in 2018, imports of Russian gas by EU countries reached a record high. On December 29th Russia rejected European demands to release 24 Ukrainian sailors detained after it seized three of its neighbour’s ships in November. Ukraine is calling for fresh sanctions on Russia, raising the risk that it might once more cut off supplies.

Meanwhile, European politicians are also fretting about Nord Stream 2 (NS2), a planned pipeline that would carry more Russian gas under the Baltic Sea directly to Germany. On December 12th the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for the project to be cancelled, citing security reasons, but with 370km of pipes already laid it looks hard to stop.

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via Business Feeds

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