Europe Puts Scruples Aside, Imports Record Levels of Russian Liquid Natural Gas

Image Credits: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg.

The European Union has seen imports of liquid natural gas from Russia rise to record levels this year, sending billions to Moscow while waxing poetic about their support of Ukraine.

Though shipments of natural gas sent via pipelines from Russia to Europe have fallen sharply since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February, Europe has ironically turned to Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG), a chilled form of the gas that can be shipped in sea tankers, to make up the difference.

According to research conducted by the energy market analysis firm ICIS for the German business newspaper Handelsblatt found that imports of LNG from Russia rose by 21 per cent over pre-war levels to the EU states and Great Britain. The analysis found that between January and November of this year, the EU plus the UK paid Moscow nearly 27 billion euros ($28.4/£23.5 billion) in exchange for the record flows of liquid natural gas.

The European money spent on Russian LNG alone, is just under the total aid that EU institutions and member states have sent to Ukraine since the start of the full on war in February. The Kiel Institute for the World Economy Ukraine aid tracker has found that the EU has collectively sent 29 billion euros in military and financial assistance.

While European nations have been largely successful in filling up their gas storage containers prior to the winter, the true test could start to begin in the Spring. Supplies of liquid natural gas on the open market were artificially higher than normal this year given the reduced manufacturing output of Communist China due to Beijing’s draconian zero-Covid strategy, which has severely impacted production.

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